Dental Work and Hearing Loss: What Dentists Should Know

hearing lossIt’s no secret that the sound of dental tools, such as drills, extraction forceps, and other pointy instruments, can evoke fear and stress in many people. What makes it more daunting is perhaps recalling the horrible tooth extraction scene from the “Saw” movie. But did you know that the impact of the noise during dental work does more than make people experience anxiety?

The Effects of Noise

Believe it or not, drilling on a patient’s teeth may cause ringing in the ear or tinnitus in dentists. When they listen to the grinding sound of tools or any high-pitched noise for a long time, it may lead to hearing troubles. As a matter of fact, research shows that there is a strong link between hearing loss and dental drills.

Under any working conditions, scientists believe that dental equipment produce frequencies that are potentially harmful. Though the level of noise in a dental clinic is often low, a sound that exceeds 100 decibels coming from high-speed dental hand pieces can take a toll on dentists’ hearing function.

The study’s findings aim to urge manufacturers to produce dental tools that are safer for the human ear. As a dental professional, you shouldn’t just be concerned with your patients’ teeth. Pay close attention to your own hearing as well, as prevention is the only cure.

Importance of Hearing Protection

As dental practices have a number of sources of noise, dentists must come up with a solution to prevent hearing damage at work. Keeping a few distance to a patient while using high-speed tools is one thing, but may not be enough.

If you are constantly exposed to a noisy environment, it’s best that you use a quality hearing protection instrument. As TacticalHearing.com puts it: “You will be able to protect your hearing while simultaneously hearing your patients and staff. Dental laboratory machine, dental hand – piece, ultrasonic scalers, amalgamators, high speed evacuation, and other items produce sound noise at different sound levels, which will over time, severely damage hearing.” You can choose one that is fit to your preferences, as every device is programmable to individual hearing requirements.

Not all sounds are safe to the ears. Over time, the sound of dental tools can damage the hearing especially, when ears are left unprotected.

About the Author

As a New York-based psychologist. Thelma Scott has conducted several seminars tackling adult autism.