Annual Audiometric Evaluation must be Compulsory for Dentists

Annual Audiometric Evaluation must be Compulsory for Dentists.

Dental professionals encounter different occupational hazards on a day to day basis. Hearing
loss has been reported to be one of the major hazards in the affected population. Dental practice
may be associated with a continued exposure to different noises produced by dental equipments
and gadgets used in the patient dental care services. Noise is defined as an acoustic phenomenon which may arise due to a solid, gas or liquid environment.  Every individual is exposed to noise in their surroundings which is considered to as “normal noise”. Occupational groups such as that of dentists are exposed to an extra amount of noise persistent in their work premises.

Th common sources of noise in dental offices are attributed to model trimmers, ultrasonic instruments, high velocity suction, low speed hand pieces, vibrators and high speed turbine hand
pieces. The cause and effect relationship between hearing loss and noise exposure
is well-documented.

Using the noise measurements taken in the workplace, a certain level of attenuation is selected that
helps control harmful noise levels while keeping conversations with staff members and patients audible. Finally, patients among the dentists are encouraged to maintain and replace their dental
equipments as recommended by the manufacturer on time which can further lead to positive results in terms of noise attenuation.

Thus to overcome the hazardous effects of noise to prevent hearing risks is to avoid long stretched hours of exposure in noisy premises (clinics/laboratory) for the dentists. Hearing protection
devices must be worn compulsorily whenever exposed to loud noise.

Otolaryngol Open J. 2017; SE(3): S6-S10. doi: 10.17140/OTLOJ-SE-3-102