Definition : Speech assistive devices designed to deliver sounds resembling the normal voice (i.e., artificial larynxes) produced by the vocal cords during normal speech. These devices are usually available as battery-powered electromechanical devices (known as a transcervical or neck-type artificial larynx) that move a plastic or metal probe that generates a sound (i.e., tone); when the probe is held against the tissues of the neck (or cheek) the tone is transmitted to the mouth through the oropharynx. The appropriate movement of the lips, tongue, teeth, and jaw converts the tone into meaningful speech (i.e., modulate the tone); these devices may be modified using dedicated attachments for intra-oral or cheek use. Transcervical larynxes typically include pitch and volume controls. Other types of artificial larynxes are available, such as the pneumatic larynx that uses lung air (i.e., lung powered) for sound generation; the exhaled air moves through a cup-like external attachment that covers the tracheostoma to a cylindrical vibrating chamber where a sound is generated; this sound is delivered through and external tube to the mouth for modulation as voice. Other electromechanical devices designed specifically for intraoral use (e.g., the Cooper-Rand larynx) are also available. Artificial larynxes are intended mainly to make possible verbal communication after proper training for people who have their natural larynx removed (laryngectomy).
Entry Terms : "Prostheses, Larynx" , "Larynges, Artificial" , "Artificial Larynxes"
UMDC code : 10204