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FAQ:  Speech Articulation Problems



Question:
New crowns cause slurred speech: When I had crowns put on my front lower four teeth a year ago, I developed a slur in my speech.

What can I do about it? ... Visitor from NY

Answer:
The slurring condition you are experiencing is a phonetics problem. Your new bottom crowns are not in the correct spacial relationship to your upper front teeth.

It sounds like your bottom crowns were made a little too short or set a bit too far back for you to be able to just about to touch your top front teeth. This means that your bottom and front top teeth should be close to touching each other when you say the letter S.

There should be just a tiny separation between the front upper and lower teeth when you say your S words. Words like silly, sister, Mississippi, six, seven, etc.

This phonetics and slur problem should have been evaluated and corrected in the temporary stage. Once the front bottom teeth were prepared for your front four crowns a plastic acrylic temporary was placed to protect your teeth until your restorations came back from the dental lab.

The correct speaking or phonetic relationship between the upper and lower front teeth should have be worked out and verfied before the case was sent to the dental lab. Then to make sure the dental artist knew exactly where to made and place the top edges of your new crowns to allow you to speak correctly, the dentist should have taken an impression of your correctly adjusted temporaries and sent them with your case to the lab.

That way the dental lab artist would have a guide to exactly duplicate your temporaries. This temporary indexing and duplication process to assure the correct look, feel and speech parameters is used routinely in Cosmetic Makeover Dentistry.

I wish the correction of your slur problem was easy, but it may involve having them correctly redone. Since I cannot see exactly what the problem is over the internet I would recommend seeing your dentist to evaluate your problem. If this doesn't solve the problem you may want to see a dentist who skilled in occlusion and cosmetic dentistry.

Editorial Staff

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