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Leila Sedighpor, Hoshang Dadgar, Mojgan Naseh, Zahra Soleimani, Somaieh Allahiary,
Volume 25, Issue 4 (9 2013)

Background and Aims: Approximately 5% of cancers involve structures of oral cavity. Partial resection of maxilla (maxillectomy) may be performed in these cases. Maxillectomy often results in significant functional disabilities such as inability in mastication, deglutition and speech with adverse impact on psychological status and social life of patients. Obturator prosthesis is a prosthodontic treatment to separate nasal and oral cavities and restore the critical above mentioned functions. The assessment of speech is considered to examine speech function restored by the treatment. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the speech in patients with resected maxilla who have been treated by obturator prosthesis from a pool of related patients in the Prosthodotnics department of dental faculty, Tehran University of Medical Sciences. The evaluation was performed with computer software using sentence intelligibility (SI) test.

Materials and Methods: This cross sectional study was conducted on 10 subjects (23-66 years) referred to the Prosthodontics department of the faculty and received an obturator. After primary examination of the prosthesis, the patients completed SI test in an acoustic room under guidance of a speech therapist. The performed tests were analyzed by the speech therapist. In addition, the SI with and without the prosthesis was evaluate by lay audience. The statistical analyses were performed using Wilcoxon-signed rank test and Weighted Kappa.

Results: Significant differences were found between SI tests with and without the obturators (P<0.001). Two of 10 patients showed problems in speech function using obturator.

Conclusion: Within the limitations of the present study, obturators had significant effect on improvement of the speech outcomes of examined patients. Improvement of the quality of life could be predicted.

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