Noise-Cancelling Headphones for Dentist Filling?

Discussion in 'Support' started by orbiter12, Jul 27, 2022.

    1. orbiter12

      orbiter12 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      18/03/17
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud club
      I’m due to have some dental fillings later on this evening.

      Many posts have been made on this subject, with the main advice being don’t wear earplugs or earmuffs to avoid the occlusion effect, and get the dentist to drill 10 second on 10 second off.

      However, has anyone ever worn noise-cancelling headphones when getting dental fillings done? Would you still get the occlusion effect as they’re not tight to your ears, but might take a little bit of the sting of the drill away?

      Got the appointment in a couple hours so would appreciate your thoughts.
       
    2. Benjaminbb

      Benjaminbb Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Nov 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Likely long term noise exposure, combined w pandemic stress
      No, you don’t get that occlusion effect with them. They helped. Also I was shocked how quiet the drill was anyway. Unless your ears are totally destroyed or reactive, it isn’t much to worry about. Hearing the drill through your bones is also hardly louder than your own voice in earplugs.

      I think the drills are a lot quieter these days than 15 years ago.
       
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      orbiter12

      orbiter12 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      18/03/17
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud club
      Thank you. That’s really reassuring. They want to do all 3 fillings in one long session. Do you think I should avoid that as not to be exposed for that long or it’s really not that bad?
       
    4. Pitseleh

      Pitseleh Member

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      2007
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      My wife is a dentist, so I know a few things about the situation: they have different drills they can use. Usually, the loudest high-pitched ones are the ones that are the most efficient, as they take less time to drill. But they have others they can use. Ask him/her about it explaining your case and making sure they use the drills that are more bearable.
       
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    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      orbiter12

      orbiter12 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      18/03/17
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud club
      I just tried my electric toothbrush in my mouth with and without my noise-cancelling headphones on and it does appear to sound a lot louder in my head with the noise-cancelling headphones... might just be my model of headphones but it does seem to be some kind of occlusion effect happening, so unsure if to wear them or not.
       
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    6. Diego LR

      Diego LR Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unkown
      How did it go in the end?
       
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      orbiter12

      orbiter12 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      18/03/17
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud club
      Just got back.

      The dentist drilling is not loud imo, not loud enough to cause a spike. The vibrations however are bothersome and you can feel and hear them in your head and in your ears. He used a very thick drill and it was upper back wisdom tooth so the vibrations were very close to my ear but I don’t think it’ll cause any damage. Ears seem fine. He said the cavity was a lot deeper than he thought so had to do a lot of drilling. I didn’t mention the 10 second on, 10 second off rule to him but I don’t think he drilled for anymore than 10-15 seconds anyway.

      If anyone is concerned about the noise, I wouldn’t be, it’s pretty moderate, but the vibrations might be bothersome.

      All in all nowhere near as bad as I thought. Have to go back for two more in a couple weeks and not nervous or worried about them at all.
       
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    8. Diego LR

      Diego LR Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unkown
      Good to hear. I assume that that you don't have hyperacusis.
       
    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      orbiter12

      orbiter12 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      18/03/17
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud club
      I do actually. Just not as bad as when I first had it. When I first had it, I could barely endure a normal conversation. Nowadays only certain noises trigger pain like dogs barking etc but I’d say it’s ranged in severity from a 1 to a 3/10. For example, after my MRI a few months it triggered it up to a 6-7/10 but usually it recedes back to its manageable baseline. I don’t have to wear earplugs doing day to day to activities anymore so I’d say it’s fairly mild. The tinnitus barely bothers me tbh. I protect my ears to avoid spiking my hyperacusis. Hyperacusis is a different beast compared to tinnitus imo.
       
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    10. Marcuso22

      Marcuso22 Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud prolonged exposure to alarm system
      I have reactive tinnitus and am very concerned because I need to have a root canal. Don't know how I will be able to get through it.
       
    11. sjtinguy

      sjtinguy Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise
      NAC up beforehand and explain to the doctor ahead of time your situation. Don't be afraid to ask to take breaks. I had a crown done one time and had to have the doctor stop for like 5 minutes while I paced around the office a bit.

      Lots of people say no hearing protection at the dentist, and I used to do that, but now I wear maximum hearing protection. It will make the "sound in your head" a lot louder but at least you don't have all the sounds of the suction and the highest pitches of the drill will be lessened by the protection/bone conduction.

      As long as you're not in an acute highly sensitive recent spike phase, you will probably be ok. Not saying you won't get a small increase but it'll probably be manageable and go away. The pain from needing a root canal is one of a few things I would rate as worse than a tinnitus spike so don't be shy.
       
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    12. InNeedOfHelp

      InNeedOfHelp Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      MRI Scan
      The drill is indeed not that loud. The suction tube is imo. You didn't feel that way?
       
    13. manofaction

      manofaction Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      stress and a bit of hearing loss
      I need my upper wisdom tooth removed.

      The guy I have says he always "sections". It is 10 minutes of drilling and removal.

      Since the tooth is up the back, it is closer to the ear, and recently, I had to stop a dentist doing ultrasonic since the noise was so loud on the teeth at the back...

      Is a drill less noise? I am worried. The alternative is going under a general anesthetic. But here the issue is they use "air powered" drills in hospitals and they are apparently way noisier!

      Conductive hearing is the problem here, I could wear headphones, but I doubt they make any difference...

      I suspect drilling noise is very dependent on location of the tooth, since ultrasonic at the front teeth was ok.
       
    14. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      orbiter12

      orbiter12 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      18/03/17
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud club
      Mine was at the back wisdom tooth on the left hand side on the top. So probably as close to the ear as possible.

      The drill is not too loud, I promise. I thought it would be worse but it wasn’t too bad at all.

      The vibrations are kinda bad but still not awful or uncomfortable for me personally. Ask if you can do 15 second bursts and it will be manageable.
       
    15. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      orbiter12

      orbiter12 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      18/03/17
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud club
      Louder than the drill yes but still wasn’t uncomfortable for me personally. It’s only loud when they put it in your mouth which again is only like 5-10 seconds every now and then, similar to the drilling. She took it out when it wasn’t needed in there.
       
    16. kingsfan
      Mellow

      kingsfan Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Southern California
      Tinnitus Since:
      9-17-20 / 10-20-20 / 3-31-21 / 5-23-21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      turning everything up to 11
      All the preparation I made when I went to the dentist and it was the suction tube that got me. I was not prepared for it.
       
    17. InNeedOfHelp

      InNeedOfHelp Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      MRI Scan
      Same here. The electric hand drill is really not loud. The suction tube is the problem for me. I posted my experience with the laser for cavities three days ago. There I was able to protect myself from the suction tube with hearing protection. Otherwise i would end up with another permanent worsening.

      My Experience with Laser Dental Drill for Cavities
       
    18. Diego LR

      Diego LR Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unkown
      So you recommend using earplugs and earmuffs for the whole treatment? As opposed to not using protection to avoid the occlusion effect?
       
    19. InNeedOfHelp

      InNeedOfHelp Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      MRI Scan
      For laser, yes, use both. For normal drill, I'd say drill without earmuffs. Suction in between with earmuffs. Annoying to put on and off though. If you are not sensitive to the frequency/decibel of the suction, I don't think the handpiece drill (electric) is too loud. If you do not have access to laser, I'd ask the suction to be at the bare minimum. Preferably no suction during the drill even though you will get lots of water in your mouth. As soon as the drill is done, earmuffs on for the actual filling as they use some suction to keep the mouth dry.
       
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