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Oral Health Prev Dent 14 (2016), No. 6     12. Dec. 2016
Oral Health Prev Dent 14 (2016), No. 6  (12.12.2016)

Page 493-500, doi:10.3290/j.ohpd.a36520, PubMed:27957560


Auditory and Nonauditory Effects of Ultrasonic Scaler Use and Its Role in the Development of Permanent Hearing Loss
Chopra, Aditi / Thomas, Betsy S. / Mohan, Kishan / Sivaraman, Karthik
Purpose: To evaluate the negative auditory and non-auditory effects developed immediately after using ultrasonic scalers and their potential role in the development of permanent hearing loss.
Materials and Methods: The auditory functions of 60 dental clinicians were evaluated with the pure tone audiometry test (PTA), tympanogram and the otoacoustic emission test (OAE) before and immediately after using ultrasonic scalers. The paired t-test was used to evaluate the difference in the pre- and post-exposure recordings for all three tests.
Results: There was a significant increase in the PTA and tympanogram test results, along with reduced OAE values immediately after using ultrasonic scalers. Hearing ability dropped by 63% to 66% immediately after using ultrasonic scalers. The maximum hearing disability was noted for low-frequency thresholds. The reduction was greater in the left than in the right ear.
Conclusions: Noise-emitting devices such as ultrasonic scalers produce significant immediate auditory and non-auditory changes. It is important that dentists recognise the initial signs of hearing damage and adopt appropriate measures while working to prevent the development of permanent hearing impairment in future.

Keywords: auditory damage, hearing, hearing loss, noise, ultrasonic scalers
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