Dental professionals are at risk for noise-induced hearing loss. Often, individuals are not aware that they have hearing loss – their first complaint and the reason they seek a hearing evaluation may in fact be tinnitus. The dental office environment subjects dental professionals to noises associated with handpieces and ultrasonics as well as other dental equipment. Handpieces must be well maintained to reduce the level of noise emanating from them. Hearing protection devices can be used to help prevent hearing loss. Several types are available, and musician’s earplugs may be particularly useful as they reduce noise while still enabling the individual to hear and communicate with others.
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