Appraisal of Function After Rehabilitation With Tongue Prosthesis

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Abstract

Statement of the Problem:

Prosthetic rehabilitation following total glossectomy is very complex procedure from clinical as well as laboratory point of view. The basic objective of prosthodontic rehabilitation is to deliver a comfortable as well as esthetically suitable prosthesis, which restores the impaired speech and deglutition function.

Purpose:

Prosthetic rehabilitation of patients after total glossectomy with tongue prosthesis to evaluate improvement in speech as well as swallowing function.

Materials and Methods:

Tongue prostheses were fabricated with high-temperature vulcanizing silicone and heat-polymerizing acrylic to restore the functions affected after surgical resection of tongue. Patient's speech was evaluated with Dr Speech software version 4. The speech software was used to assess different speech parameters such as maximum phonation time, fundamental frequency, intensity, jitter, and shimmer. Deglutition assessment was done subjectively by using a standardized questionnaire designed by the speech pathologist. Speech was recorded for assessment before prosthetic rehabilitation and 2 weeks after delivery of the tongue prosthesis.

Results:

After analysis of various speech parameters frequency range was improved with prosthesis (ie, 172.19 Hz) as compared to without prosthesis (ie, 111.47 Hz). Speech intelligibility was improved with tongue prosthesis. Deglutition assessment revealed that patient's deglutition abilities were improved.

Conclusion:

Tongue prosthesis helps to improve speech and articulation in patients with total glossectomy. Apart from that deglutition capability is also significantly improved.

Clinical Implications:

Total glossectomy affects speech, mastication, and swallowing to a greater proportion. It may also lead to psychological impairment of the patient. Tongue prosthesis efficiently improves speech and deglutition abilities of the patient leading to a better quality of life.

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