Device may make dentist visits less stressful
SUMMARY: Individuals who suffer from bad breath because they fear the loud, sharp tools wielded by the dentist may soon have relief as researchers have been working to make the dentist office feel less threatening.
Posted: February 8, 2011
Individuals who suffer from bad breath because they fear the loud, sharp tools wielded by the dentist may soon have relief as researchers have been working to make the dentist office feel less threatening.
Inventors at London South Bank University, Brunel University and King's College London have created a device that drowns out the high-pitch noise emitted by the dentist's drill, a sound that can be a major source of anxiety for some patients.
The device connects to an MP3 player and allows the patient to listen to their own music while blocking the sound of the drill. Interestingly, individuals in the chair can still hear the dentist and dental team speaking to them while the device is on, thanks to a technology called adaptive filtering.
Adaptive filtering targets a certain sound wave and cancels it out even when volume and frequency of that wave change.
King's College professor Brian Millar came up with the initial idea for the device.
"What we need now is an investor to develop the product further, to enable us to bring this device to as many dental surgeries as possible, and help people whose fear of visiting the dentist stops them from seeking the oral healthcare they need," Millar said.
For Americans who are putting up with bad breath and halitosis out of anxiety, you could soon be listening to Bach in the dentist's chair rather than the shrill, fear-inducing tones of a drill.