Extraction of primary maxillary incisors and children’s speech production: A case series

Caitlin R. Hurley, Sharynne McLeod, Robert P. Anthonappa

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Dental caries (tooth decay) is a disease with a significant global burden. Management may necessitate the extraction of teeth to restore oral health. The association between dental extractions and children’s speech is unclear, with clinical implications for speech-language pathologists and dentists. This case series describes a prospective study reporting the impact of primary maxillary incisor teeth extraction on speech sound accuracy for three children (C1 aged 5;6 (years; months), C2 aged 4;6, C3 aged 3;10). Their speech was assessed using the Diagnostic Evaluation of Articulation and Phonology (DEAP) and the Intelligibility in Context Scale (ICS) before (T1) and 1 month after dental treatment (T2). Speech analysis included the percentage of consonants correct (PCC) and error-type analyses. Caregiver and child perception of the child’s oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) were assessed pre- and post-operatively using a modified Scale of Oral Health Outcomes for 5-year-old children (SOHO-5). At T1, all three children scored >1 standard deviation below the mean on normative data in the DEAP. There was no clinically significant change in PCC for any child (C1 T1: 89.6%, T2: 90.6%, C2 T1: 78.0%, T2: 75.9%, C3 T1: 56.1%, T2: 63.1%). OHRQoL measures were improved for C1 by the carergiver report and remained stable for C2 and C3 and all child reports. Speech sound difficulties were present before dental treatment in all participants and extraction of primary maxillary incisors did not significantly impact speech production. Dental extractions appear to be independent from speech production in this case series of preschool children.
Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Linguistics and Phonetics
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - May 2024


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