09 June 2020

Dental professionals risk their hearing

Especially dental assistants and dental technicians are at risk of a hearing loss, a study finds.

A study from Jordan shows that hearing loss is higher among dental professionals than the control group and especially among dental assistants and dental technicians.

In the study, there was a significant relationship between the degree of hearing impairment among dental assistants and the daily duration of exposure to dental occupational noise.

The study concludes that:

  • Dental assistants and dental technicians are found to be the most affected by noise pollution among the dental team relatively.
  • High noise pollution produced by various dental tools and machines is potentially of high risk to dental professionals who work in such an environment for a prolonged period of time.

Questions asked and answered

In the study, the participants in the tested groups were asked some questions related to noise-induced hearing loss.

For the question “Do you find yourself asking others to repeat what they have said?” 46% of the dentists, 55.3% of the dental technicians, 64.4% of the dental assistants, 21.7% of the 5th year dental students and only 10.5% of the 3rd year dental students responded positively to the question.

For the question “Do you suffer hearing issues while being in noisy places?” 50.8% of dentists, 60% of dental technicians, 75.6% of dental assistants, 18.8% of the 5th year dental students and 9.4% of the 3rd year dental students responded positively to this question.

For the question “Do you feel the need to pay extra attention to understand what others are saying? 41% of the dentists, 52% of dental technicians, 60% of dental assistants, 20.4% of the 5th year dental students and only 9.2% of the 3rd year dental students responded positively to this question.

About the study

In the study, 244 dentists, dental technicians, dental assistants, and dental students participated. 62 participated as a control group.

All participants were from Jordan University Hospital in Jordan. Participants completed a questionnaire in addition to their audiometric testing. Otoscopy, tympanometry and pure tone audiometry were included in their assessment. Audiological thresholds for the test groups were compared to the control group.

The study, “Assessment of occupational noise‐related hearing impairment among dental health personnel”, was published in the Journal of Occupational Health.

Sources: www.ncbi.nlm.hih.gov and the Journal of Occupational Health.

Get news updates from hear-it