Effects of sinus lifting on voice quality

A prospective study and risk assessment

Authors: Gabor Tepper, Robert Haas, Berit Schneider, Georg Watzak, Georg Mailath, Sasha A. Jovanovic, Dieter Busenlechner, Werner Zechner, Georg Watzek

Abstract

A variety of potential complications associated with sinus lift surgery have been reported in the literature. However, potential alterations of voice quality following sinus elevation have so far not been mentioned or evaluated scientifically. For the majority of patients, slight changes of the voice pattern are of no importance. However, for voice professionals, whose voices have become part of their distinctive profession or trademark, minimal changes may have dramatic consequences. This specific group of patients, such as speakers, actors and singers, depend on the particular quality and timbre of their voice for their livelihood. Consequently, the purpose of this study was to assess the effects of sinus lifting on voice quality in the above patient group. In a collaborative interdisciplinary effort,the Departments of Oral Surgery and Otorhinolaryngology, Section of Phoniatrics and Logopedics, thoroughly evaluated a series of voice parameters of four patients undergoing  sinus lifting pre- and postoperatively. The parameters analyzed included pitch, dynamic range, sound pressure level, percent jitter, percent shimmer and noise-to-harmonics ratio with special emphasis on formant analysis. No changes were detected in any of the commonly evaluated parameters. These were rated subjectively by patients and their friends or relatives and objectively with instrumental tools under isolated phoniatric lab conditions. In conclusion, sinus lift surgery appears to be a safe, predictable evidence-based method for regenerating the highly atrophic posterior maxilla, which does not jeopardize the individual characteristic voice pattern of high-profile patients critically dependent on their voices for their livelihood.

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