Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of the major connector in a maxillary denture.
Methods: Eight patients with sound dentition were recruited in this study. The experimental connectors were fabricated with Co-Cr. Two positional designs were used: one was the middle type (M), and the other was the anterior and posterior type (AP). The six sounds, /shi/, /hi/, /chi/, /ki/, /ri/, and /ni/, were chosen as the test sounds. Using a speech recognition system, the intelligibility, change and duration of the test sounds were evaluated under three conditions: without connector (WO·C), with the M-type connector (W·M), and with the AP-type connector (W·AP).
Results: The intelligibility in WO·C and W·AP was 86.9 ± 17.4% and 57.1 ± 30.1% for /shi/, 79.2 ± 19.7% and 70.5 ± 27.0% for /hi/, 74.7 ± 14.6% and 43.6 ± 24.3% for /chi/, 54.4 ± 16.5% and 23.2 ± 17.8% for /ki/, 85.2 ± 15.9% and 55.1 ± 30.6% for /ri/, and 76.9 ± 26.9% and 50.2 ± 31.3% for /ni/. Significant differences were recognized between WO·C and W·AP in /shi/, /chi/, /ki/ and /ri/(P<0.01). The intelligibility in W·M was higher than that in W·AP in all test sounds. As for incorrect labels, significant differences were recognized in the appearance ratio of /hi/ as the incorrect label in the test sound /shi/ (P<0.05). There were significant differences in some incorrect labels of /hi/ and /chi/. As for duration of consonant part, there was no significant difference in each test sound.
Conclusion: It was indicated that the middle type of the major connector would be recommended from a viewpoint of phonetic function.
Copyright © 2011 Japan Prosthodontic Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.