Dig Your teeth Into This One
Dentists and dental technicians beware - your profession exposes you to noise levels that can permanently damage your hearing over time. This is damage that can not be repaired like bonding or replacing a broken tooth. Hand pieces are not as loud as they used be, but exposure to dental drills will damage the auditory nerve over time. The good news is that if you start protecting your ears now, you can help to prevent future injury.
Ear protection is available in over the counter or custom products, akin to a mouth guard, which can be manufactured at a laboratory or made in the privacy of your own home. Filtered earplugs assure that speech is heard clearly and damaging noise is reduced to a safe level. Your local audiologist can perform a baseline hearing exam and help you decide what product meets your needs. If you are challenged with hearing loss, an audiologist will guide you to the appropriate solution.
If you are reading this and not in the dental field, at your next 6-month check up ask your dental providers "When was the last time you had your ears checked?" Let them know that you care.
Sheri Gostomelsky holds a doctoral degree in Audiology. She is the owner of Audiology Associates of Deerfield, a boutique practice that specializes in protecting and improving hearing, one patient at a time. The practice is located at 400 Lake Cook Road in Deerfield IL.