Dentist at risk of hearing loss?

Good for your teeth, bad for your ears?

For me, the worst part of going to the dentist has always been the dreaded drill. Oh, it has nothing to do with the pain-filled drilling of teeth but more so with the high pitched “scream” it emits as it’s working. Of course, once the drilling is done and the screaming has stopped, I still have the low, droll, hum echoing through my head.  I can only imagine how much worse it must be for the doctor who is drilling all day long.

I suppose that’s what East Tennessee State University student, Krisztina Busci Johnson, had in mind when she started a study that seeks to determine whether dental drills take a toll on dentists’ ears.  A study that has won her a National Hearing Conservation Association 2011/2012 research award.

Being a dental assistant for eight years herself, Johnson intends to measure and compare data on the hearing threshold of dentists drilling without hearing protection over a period of a working day. Daniel Zimmerman of the Dental Tribune writes, Johnson is currently seeking participants who will also receive a free clinical hearing evaluation during the process. If successful, she hopes to be able to persuade dentists to use better hearing protection and to widen the study by including dental assistants or hygienists. “Another possibility is that the data could persuade dental drill manufacturers to produce drills that are safer for the human ear,”  said Johnson

There have been some earlier studies that have gone into the possible correlation between hearing loss and dental drills but none that have been conclusive. But, Fred Michmershuizen of the Dental Tribune writes, “Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) prescribes that any workers exposed to noise levels in excess of 85 decibels are at risk. The exposure to continuous high frequencies from a dental drill can degrade one’s hearing. According to the experts, dental professionals should use protective hearing devices. ”

Have you noticed any issues with your hearing after a long day of cavity drilling? Please post your comments below and let us know how drilling affects you.

There’s an App for that!

DentalXChange is eager to increase efficiency for you and your office, so we created the Activity Snapshot after much demand from our clients.  This can be installed to your PC or Mac, and it is even available for on-the-go access for your iPhone or iPad.

What is the Snapshot?

The Snapshot is just that, a quick glimpse that gives your office an idea of how many claims/pre-treatments you’ve sent in the last day, 30 days or 60 days–you choose.   We bring your office real-time reporting on the ClaimConnect side, PayConnect  side and BillConnect side as well.

This is an exclusive DentalXChange product which is available now to all our offices for free, and the offices that have it so far can’t stop raving about it.  The best part about the Activity Snapshot is that you simply log in and leave it open throughout the day with no effect to other office services.  The Snapshot automatically updates every 2 minutes, giving you the most up-to-date report.  Have a validation error?  Know immediately and head to our website to fix it.  Did a claim get rejected? No problem–with the Snaphot, you’ll know immediately.   Here is a quick look at the DentalXChange Activity Snapshot:

Activity Snapshot Example

Here, we see how many claims our test office has billed for the past day, 30 days, and 60 days.  It even gives us a total dollar amount for what has been billed for this time period, which is quite possibly the most popular feature.

The snapshot is fully customizable to work best for you.  Give our support team a call today at 800-576-6412 x 452 if you’d like help on installing our FREE Snapshot, or follow the easy to read instructions here.

What’s better, is you can download the Snapshot to your iPhone or iPad for on-the-go access.  You can even switch easily between multiple practices if you are managing multiple offices.

Leave a comment on how you think the Activity Snapshot can help your practice!