Active Noise Cancelling Headphones for Dental Work, Opinions Please :)

Discussion in 'Support' started by Snake, Mar 16, 2020.

    1. Snake
      Scared

      Snake Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Long term playing computer games on headphones.
      Hi, how do you feel about using ANC headphones during dental work? Do they help you? Do they lower the loudness of the dental work a bit? How about the occlusion effect, do they cause it?

      I need to take off glue from my teeth and the only way is through drilling or polishing it out. We can't do much about noise coming through the teeth but at least we could do something about the "outside" external noise. I've read about using ANC headphones but opinions are mixed, some people say that they work by cutting out the perceived volume by 20-25% and some say that they worsen the tinnitus.

      What is your experience?

      I have hyperacusis so everything that can help is welcome here.
       
      • Good Question Good Question x 1
    2. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      I've tried it and they are very ineffective, as they reduce low frequency sound, whereas the drill has high frequencies. Also a lot of the sound you hear when the drill is in your mouth is from bone conduction.

      Your best bet is to find a dentist who uses dental lasers and who also has electric-powered (as opposed to the noisier air-powered) drills. If your cavity is between teeth, the dentist won't be able to use a laser. The dentist can still use the electric-powered drill at low RPM setting. Sometime during the procedure they might have to increase the RPM, but most of it could usually be done at the low RPM. The problem is that in my experience Most dentists won't work at low RPM, as it takes considerably more time. So the most important thing you can do, is find a dentist who takes you and your tinnitus Seriously. If you find a dentist like that, you can also ask them to drill for at most 5 seconds and follow that with a 10 second break. Of course this would triple the drilling time, but that used to be the advice on American Tinnitus Association's website (they had since removed this advice from the site, not sure why). The dentists are hesitant to do this, even when you offer to pay them for the extra time. It is likely that this advice is for when the dentist is using a normal drill (air-powered) at normal RPM (high), so if you find a dentist willing to run an electric-powered drill at low RPM, but who forgets about that "5 second rule", it might be ok to not insist on the use of that rule.

      To summarize, if your cavity could be fixed with a laser, that is ideal. In that case you would want to wear Peltor muffs (you probably wouldn't want to wear earplugs due to the occlusion effect). Note that even with the laser, some use of the drill is unavoidable, as the drill has to be used to shape the new filling. Try to find a dentist who won't dismiss your tinnitus concerns who owns an electric-powered drill that he or she is willing to run at low RPM most of the time. That sound is a lot less disturbing than the sound of a drill that is running at high RPM. Another thing you might want to do is not do multiple jobs at once. Do one cavity and then let your ears rest and come back another day to do another cavity.

      Good luck!
       
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    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Snake
      Scared

      Snake Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Long term playing computer games on headphones.
      It's not the cavity i have to do, I have glue from orthodontic braces glued to my teeth. I need to drill or polish it out, we can use 20.000 RPM electric drill to do that but it's still loud :( I thought about using ANC headphones as they're good for low frequencies and this 20.000 RPM drill have somewhat low frequency sound. What do you think about that? It's fine to try them?
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    4. PeteJ
      Depressed

      PeteJ Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma?
      I used noise cancelling headphones. It helped but not much. Most dental offices are still in the dark ages. They don't want to invest in new technology. You might have more luck in a larger city (for laser and electric powered drills). I finally found a dentist with a "quieter" drill but it was still really loud. But, a previous dental drill was even worse. It was hell.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    5. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Ask your doctor to use the lowest possible RPM, and use it for at most 5 seconds, followed by 10 second pauses. Look into whether that glue could be removed using a laser.

      You should try it both with and without your noise cancelling headphones. I bet you will conclude that it makes no difference. I would choose Peltor muffs over noise cancelling headphones, but even that would probably make no difference.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Snake
      Scared

      Snake Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Long term playing computer games on headphones.
      Glue cannot be removed by laser sadly, it's stronger than teeth.
       
    7. Digital Doc

      Digital Doc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced
      I had braces removed prior to the tinnitus. I doubt a laser can be used, as the glue needs to be polished off. The sound was kind of loud, but it was in the lower frequencies as far I remember. I think that noise cancelling headphones would help. I would not use ear muffs as it would increase the sound due to the occlusion effect.
       
    8. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      It would seem to me that the occlusion effect would happen when one wears NC headphones too. Since the walls of the muffs are further from one's ears than the cups of the headphones, I would expect the occlusion effect to be less of an issue when one wears the muffs. But it is easy enough to try all three of one's options (muffs, headphones, and nothing). Just be prepared that all three are similar...
       

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