Dentist Tips: How to Prevent Tinnitus from Getting Worse During Dental Procedures

Discussion in 'Support' started by JohnJohnJohn, Sep 14, 2021.

    1. JohnJohnJohn

      JohnJohnJohn Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise damage most likely or possibly a sinus infection
      Hi all!

      I have to go to the dentist soon, and have been combing through these forums to accumulate the best tips to avoid worsening tinnitus when going to the dentist, I think I have them collected below:

      1. You want them to use an electric drill (electric handpiece rather than an air-driven handpiece), ideally run at the lowest speed possible in order to be as quiet as possible.

      2. Ask them if there is anything they can do to make the drill quiet, i.e., using a different drill bit, etc.

      3. You want them to drill for five seconds on and ten seconds off.

      4. Apparently, its also possible to use a manual instrument to scratch/scrape away some softer parts of bad tooth, so you could ask them to do that whenever possible to limit any unnecessary noise exposure.

      5. Ask them to use the drill as little as possible (likely the same point as the above).

      6. For any dental cleaning etc., ensure that they use manual tools and avoid ultrasonic or sonic tools (such as tooth scalers).

      7. Close your mouth when possible to rest your jaw.

      8. Keep a straight neck (inline with your back), try pushing your head back into the dentists chair headrest if necessary.

      9. No earplugs or builders headphones as this will make the noise louder, because it can’t escape from your teeth through your ears (the occlusion effect), you can bring a pair of builders headphones to have with you just in case you change your mind in there.

      10. Tell the dentist that you're really anxious about the sound and ask his/her opinion on how to limit your sound level and time exposure as much as possible? Maybe there are other ways to do the procedure that are perhaps harder/more time consuming but that you would prefer because of less noise?

      11. Most importantly, tell them "I am happy to pay for the extra time/effort needed to accommodate this."

      What do you think? Is there anything you might add or take away?

      Thanks,
      John
       
    2. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      JohnJohnJohn

      JohnJohnJohn Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise damage most likely or possibly a sinus infection
      Any thoughts on the above? How can I improve it?!

      Thanks,
      John
       
    3. TinaRuns

      TinaRuns Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Sept 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection / perforation
      I asked a very experienced oral surgeon about drilling in short bursts then waiting. He wasn't receptive. He was friendly but basically said I treat lots of people with tinnitus. Then suggested we just wait until my tinnitus improved (not totally unreasonable at the time because I was about to undergo tympanoplasty surgery).

      Still, even offering to pay them more, I doubt most will be receptive. And I can already hear them saying that their techniques shouldn't bother tinnitus.

      I'm so frustrated with the medical establishment at this point. Basically everyone says that nothing should worsen tinnitus, including many things that clearly do.
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    4. Baker

      Baker Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown for 10 years, but later bad from loud fireworks.
      My tinnitus has gotten worse when being exposed to loud noises. i.e. drilling something for a few minutes and forgetting to put on my ear muffs. Really powerful magnets from a hard drive clanging together and making a loud ping noise. When I've held my nose and blew, the pressure would make my tinnitus temporarily louder. Though one time I shook my head hard while doing that and it permanently got worse. And slapping the sides of my head have made it permanently worse.

      I would put on earplugs as being around drills has made my tinnitus worse. I don't get the thing about not wearing them so the sound can escape as the noise will have plenty of other areas to "escape" to.
       
    5. Exit

      Exit Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      Find a dentist who uses a laser for hard tissue. It can be used on everything except old silver coloured fillings (amalgam).

      Sure they must drill some to shape the filling but that’s not very hard tissue compared to teeth.
       
    6. K.A.

      K.A. Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008, then 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
    7. K.A.

      K.A. Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008, then 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      Number 9: When using "builders" ear muffs, use the ones with least occlusion effect (usually the ones with the largest physical inner volume)?

      Number 2 should be first, when on the phone with them. To make sure it is not one of those that suddenly says "no, this will only take a minute, don't think about this I have done this 1000 times with no problems" when you sit in the chair... Also might have one bullet point about just leaving the premise if you they do not follow your request when in the chair.

      I have argued with a lot of dentists online and offline, and in my experience about 90% have no understanding of this issue, and just think of it as a "mental anxiety" not to be taken seriously - most just says no problem we can give you a benzo-pill so no need to be afraid. Like that would limit the noise...
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    8. Sayeed

      Sayeed Member Benefactor

      Location:
      miami fl
      Tinnitus Since:
      4/1/21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unsure
      My tinnitus isn't due to hearing loss or acoustic trauma. Probably due to medication and stress. My hearing is fine. I also have cochlear hydrops in my left ear.

      I'm getting scaling and root planning done on all 4 quadrants tomorrow. Praying for the best.
       
    9. K.A.

      K.A. Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008, then 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      Do you have to do it with an ultrasonic tool? (Never done root planing myself...)

      Also, have you considered dividing the procedure into two separate sessions?
       
    10. Darktale

      Darktale Member

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Accoustic Trauma
      First sorry for my english, I am French and technical vocabulary in dentistry is not common for me.

      For yearly tartar cleaning my dentist is using a dental laser.... so no noise except small "tic tic tic" from the machine and the dental suction.
      I struggled to find a dentist accepting to do it it with laser but finally found one that I have now been visiting for 5 years

      Laser is not primarily designed for tartar cleaning but it can prefectly do it with proper tips. For my dentist additional benefits are that laser purifies and disinfect at the same time.
      Cons are that it is a bit painful, taking more time and it is much more expensive that's why it is difficult to find a dentist equipped with laser who accepts to do tartar cleaning with the laser.
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    11. Sayeed

      Sayeed Member Benefactor

      Location:
      miami fl
      Tinnitus Since:
      4/1/21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unsure
      I just got it done without anesthetics, knocked it out in one go. That was brutal. Glad it's over. No increase in tinnitus.
       
    12. K.A.

      K.A. Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008, then 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      Very interesting information! Does the laser equipment that can do this have some specific name you remember?
       
    13. K.A.

      K.A. Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008, then 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      Thanks for the update! Glad you are okay. How many minutes did it take to do it, and did your ears hurt while doing it (or only your teeth/gums)?
       
    14. Darktale

      Darktale Member

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Accoustic Trauma
      Last time I remember the dentist told me the name of the tips used with the laser... I think it was Erbium... but not fully sure. I will ask her next time as I will go for my yearly check by the end of the year.

      I also had one appointment a few years ago to change a dental amalgam. She was able to do 90% of the treatment (amalgam removal, cleaning of the dental cavity...) with the laser. At some point she had to use the standard drill for a few seconds as the enamel was a bit too hard but it was ok.

      This dentist equipped with laser was a game changer in my dental life and my ability to cope with my tinnitus/hyperacusis.
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    15. Sayeed

      Sayeed Member Benefactor

      Location:
      miami fl
      Tinnitus Since:
      4/1/21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unsure
      No problem. It took about 2.5 hours. I took .25 mg of Xanax beforehand.

      Interestingly enough the noise from the machine almost made like a Neuromodulation therapy sound. So it was like I was used to it, just a higher frequency.

      I can see how this would impact someone with hyperacusis though. It only hurt my gums.
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
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