This Ten-Minute Evidence-Based Dentistry Article provides an example of implementing the evidence-based dentistry search process with trusted search engines and identifying the best literature through critical appraisal to answer the clinical question: Are Hearing Protective Devices Effective for Protecting Clinicians from Noise Exposure in Clinical Practice? This article examines the effectiveness of hearing protective devices for safeguarding clinicians from noise exposure in dental practice. The clinical environment, exacerbated by COVID-19 aerosol-reducing devices, exposes oral health providers to elevated sound levels. While there's no conclusive evidence regarding the impact of handpieces on hearing, occupational noise exposure in dental settings can affect mental health. A literature search found no experimental or observational studies on using earplugs in dental settings. The absence of evidence necessitates further research on occupational noise risks in dental healthcare. Hearing protectors are generally recommended for noise levels exceeding 85 dBA, as dental handpieces produce sound levels in this range. The use of hearing protective devices is encouraged to prevent irreversible hearing loss.
Frantsve-Hawley, Julie PhD
"10-Minute EBD: Are Hearing Protective Devices Effective for Protecting Clinicians from Noise Exposure in Clinical Practice?,"
The Journal of the Michigan Dental Association: Vol. 104:
12, Article 3.
Available at: https://commons.ada.org/journalmichigandentalassociation/vol104/iss12/3
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