Dentists at risk for noise-induced hearing loss

Photo credit: Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

by Daniel Fink, MD, Chair, The Quiet Coalition

One usually doesn’t think of occupational hearing loss as a problem for professionals, just for factory workers or miners or heavy equipment operators, but it is a problem for dentists. The high-frequency whine of turbines used to power drills and polishing equipment causes noise-induced hearing loss.

This report on the Dentistry Today reminded me about this problem. A more scientific study is this 2016 article in BDJ Open.

The important thing to remember is that noise causes hearing loss, whether at work, at home, or at a rock concert or sports event.

If you can’t carry on a conversation without straining to speak or to be heard, the ambient noise is above 75 A-weighted decibels and your hearing is at risk.

Move away from the noise source, leave the noisy venue, or insert your ear plugs to allow your hearing to last you a lifetime.

Because if something sounds loud, it’s too loud.

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