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LETTER TO EDITOR Table of Contents   
Year : 2010  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 46  |  Page : 56
Dental practice and perilous auditory effect as occupational hazard

1 Department of Periodontology, Rural Dental College, Loni, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Material Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, USA
3 Department of Microbiology, Rural Dental College, Loni, Maharashtra, India
4 Department of Prosthodontics, Rural Dental College, Loni, Maharashtra, India

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Date of Web Publication16-Feb-2010
 
How to cite this article:
Saini R, Saini G, Saini S, Sugandha. Dental practice and perilous auditory effect as occupational hazard. Noise Health 2010;12:56

How to cite this URL:
Saini R, Saini G, Saini S, Sugandha. Dental practice and perilous auditory effect as occupational hazard. Noise Health [serial online] 2010 [cited 2020 Jul 4];12:56. Available from: http://www.noiseandhealth.org/text.asp?2010/12/46/56/60000
Sir,

Despite numerous technical advances in recent years, many occupational health problems still persist in modern dentistry; these include percutaneous exposure incidents (PEIs); exposure to infectious diseases (including bioaerosols), radiation, dental materials and noise; musculoskeletal disorders; dermatitis and respiratory disorders; eye injuries; and psychological problems. [1] The hearing threshold in humans varies with the frequency of sound, and it is well known that dentists experience gradual hearing loss during their working life, especially because high-speed dental air turbines emit frequencies that can cause hearing loss. [2] Dental laboratory machine, dental hand piece, ultrasonic scalers, amalgamators, high-speed evacuation and other dental equipments and accessories produce sound noise at different sound levels, which is appreciable. [3] The noise of suction, saliva ejectors, turbines, engines, amalgamators and compressors causes impaired hearing. [4] In recent years dentists, dental technicians and dental assistants repeatedly had to be tested because of suspicion of noise-induced inner ear damage; and endangering by noise more than 85 db, which is considered an occupational risk. [5] The danger to hearing from the dental-clinic working environment in a dental school cannot be underestimated. [6] Work-related hearing loss continues to be a critical safety and health care issue. Indeed, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recently included occupational hearing loss in a list of the 21 priority areas for research in the next century. More elaborate studies are required to provide more details on the risks for occupational hearing impairment and vibration hand neuropathy and to determine whether the problems described are related to the practice of dentistry. [7] To fully understand the nature of the noise-related problems, further studies are needed to identify causative factors and other correlates of auditory hazards in dental practice. Continuing education, exploration and research for interventions to help diminish the pervasiveness of the hazards of noise are also needed. Therefore, it is imperative that dentists remain relentlessly well versed regarding up-to-date measures on how to deal with newer technologies and dental equipments in clinical use.



 
  References Top

1.Leggat PA, Kedjarune U, Smith DR. Occupational Health problems in modern dentistry: A review. Ind Health 2007;45:611-21.  Back to cited text no. 1      
2.Altinöz HC, Gökbudak R, Bayraktar A, Belli S. A pilot study of measurement of the frequency of sounds emitted by high-speed dental air turbines. J Oral Sci 2001;43:189-92.  Back to cited text no. 2      
3.AL Wazan KA. Hearing problems among dental personnel. J Pak Dental Assoc 2005;14:210-4.  Back to cited text no. 3      
4.Chopra SS, Pandey SS. Occupational hazards among dental surgeons.Medical Journal of Armed Forces India 2007;63:23-5.  Back to cited text no. 4      
5.Brusis T, Hilger R, Niggeloh R, Huedepohl J, Thiesen KW. Are professional dental health care workers (dentists, dental technicians, assistants) in danger of noise induced hearing loss. Laryngorhinootologie 2008;87:335-40.  Back to cited text no. 5      
6.Bali N, Acharya S, Anup N. An assessment of the effect of sound produced in a dental clinic on the hearing of dentists. Oral Health Prev Dent 2007;5:187-91.  Back to cited text no. 6      
7.Gijbels F, Jacobs R, Princen K, Nackaerts O, Debruyne F. Potential occupational health problems for dentists in Flanders, Belgium. Clin Oral Investig 2006;10:8-16.  Back to cited text no. 7      

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Correspondence Address:
Rajiv Saini
Department of Periodontology and Oral Implantology, Rural Dental College, Loni
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1463-1741.60000

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