Region Jnkpings ln Odontologiska Institutionen
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Electropalatography - the dental technician's part in the oral motor team

Nilsson C*, Thulin J, McAllister A, Norderyd J
 

Objectives

During the last years the Orthodontic Laboratory in Jönköping has specialised in intra-oral stimulation devices in close cooperation with the team of speech pathologists and dentists in the region. Manufacturing electropalatography (EPG) plates for the treatment of articulation disorders has not been available in Sweden. The aim was to make EPG-plates more accessible for the users.

Methods

Through a speech pathologist with experience of EPG, a contact with dental technician John Broughton in Newbury, England was established. Two dental technicians from the laboratory spent a week there of practical learning and training. Back in Sweden a test unit for the plates was built by an electrical engineer. Silver contact plates and copper electrodes for the plates are supplied by WASPs Electronic & Electromechanical Engineers in England.

Results

The training and set-up has been successful and after six months six EPG-plates have been made in the laboratory. Sixty-two small silver contacts are placed on the lingual surface of the hard palate connected with ultra-thin copper electrodes that are bundled together, 31 on each side. The bundles are protected by a thin silicone hose. The cast has to be well extended behind the rear molars where the electrode bundles are placed. The electrodes have to be isolated from one another adding to the time-consuming work process. A plate takes approximately 16 – 18 hours to construct.
Collaboration with other speech pathologists outside of the region has also been established.

Conclusions

The dental technician plays an important role in oral motor teams involving individual intra-oral devices. EPG-plates are expensive and complicated to build. Having the production close to patients and teams increases the efficacy. Thus new possibilities to use the method arise.

Uppdaterad: 2013-04-03
Anna Thofelt, Avdelningen för odontologisk radiologi Jönköping, Folktandvården