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The Vertical Dimension of Speech: The Pilot of Occlusion

The Vertical Dimension Of Occlusion - Dental CE Course
Launch Course

Course Objectives (2 CE Credits)

Earl Pound, DDS

There are various problems associated with vertical dimension, including those of the face, of occlusion and of speech. The vertical dimension of speech should be used as the primary guide for establishing the vertical dimension of occlusion and when performing restorative procedures. The position the mandible assumes when a person enunciates sibilant sounds is the control for the vertical dimension of speech. After reading this classic article by Dr. Earl Pound, the clinician will understand:

  • How the vertical dimension of occlusion is defined, obtained and determined
  • The key to the vertical dimension of speech
  • The three types of “s” sounds and what they identify
  • The three basic classes of anterior occlusion
  • How the posterior speaking space can be used to determine the appropriate vertical dimension of occlusion


The vertical dimension of speech should be applied as a protective and esthetic guide for all forms of prosthetic restorations. Posterior speaking spaces should be used for all patients as a control when developing the vertical dimension of occlusion.


  1. Glossary of Prosthodontic Terms. Education and Research Foundation, Detroit, Michigan.
  2. Landa JS. The freeway space and its significance in the rehabilitation of the masticatory apparatus. J Pros Dent 1952;11:757.
  3. Pound E, Murrell GA. An introduction to denture simplification. J Pros Dent 1971;26:570-80.
  4. Pound E. Controlling anomalies of vertical dimension and speech. J Pros Dent 1976;36:124-35.
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