Newly designed flat surface artificial tongue system for speech improvement in glossectomy patients: A preliminary study

Hiroaki Nagatsuka, Shigehisa Kawakami, Miho Kuwahara, Chie Kubota, Naoki Kodama, Shogo Minagi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To design an efficient tongue prosthesis with reproducibility and to objectively evaluate improvement in speech function. Methods: A silicon anatomical artificial tongue (AT) and a flat surface artificial tongue system (FTS) were used in our study. Twenty healthy participants (10 males and 10 females, 26.3 ± 1.8 years) were fitted with a tongue movement suppression appliance (TSA) that fit the dental arch to simulate the glossectomy condition. TSA, TSA + FTS, and TSA + AT simulated the state of glossectomy patients without artificial tongue, with normal artificial tongue, and newly designed artificial tongue, respectively. Three speech intelligibility tests were performed for each of the following conditions: pronouncing 100 Japanese monosyllables, 40 Japanese words, and reading a short story. One-way ANOVA, Wilcoxon signed-rank test, and Tukey-Kramer post-hoc test were used for statistical analyses. Results: Significant differences were observed for 100 Japanese monosyllables and 40 Japanese words between the TSA + FTS, TSA, and TSA + AT conditions (p < 0.05). Regarding the speech intelligibility test for reading a short story, the TSA + FTS condition resulted in a significantly higher speech intelligibility than the TSA and TSA + AT conditions (p < 0.05). Conclusion: A flat surface artificial tongue system contributed to the improvement in speech function. This structure can be easily used in cases where conventional artificial tongue are applicable, regardless of variation in the oral condition; thus, making it a widely applicable treatment option for glossectomy patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-92
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Prosthodontic Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Artificial tongue
  • Glossectomy
  • Speech intelligibility
  • Tongue suppression
  • Tongue tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oral Surgery
  • Dentistry (miscellaneous)


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