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89% of Adolescents Consume Sports Drinks

89% of Adolescents Consume Sports Drinks

28 June 2017

Sports drinks continue to be popular among adolescents, with 89% of 12- to 14-year-olds consuming...

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May 2017

The Dentist’s Guide
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April 2017

Composite Vs. Porcelain’s:
What You Need To Know

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March 2017

Digital Marketing for Dentists

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February 2017

Traumatic Dental Injuries: Emergency Assessment And Treatment

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Recent Issues

June 2017

Digital Technologies: Changing the Face of Dentistry




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May 2017

Solving Aesthetic Challenges From Trauma-Based Injuries




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New Device Set to Combat Fear of the Dentist’s Drill

An innovative device that cancels out the noise of the dental drill could spell the end of people’s anxiety about trips to the dentist, according to experts at King’s College London, Brunel University, and London South Bank University, who pioneered the invention.

It is widely known that the sound of the dental drill is the primary cause of anxiety about dental treatment, and some patients avoid trips to the dentist because of it. This new device could help address people’s fears and encourage them to seek the oral healthcare treatment they need.

The prototype device works in a similar way to noise-cancelling headphones but is designed to deal with the high pitch of the dental drill. Patients would simply unplug their headphones, plug the device into their MP3 player or mobile phone, and then plug the headphones into the device, allowing them to listen to their own music while completely blocking out the unpleasant sound of the drill and suction equipment. The patient can still hear the dentist and other members of the dental team speaking to them but other unwanted sounds are filtered out by the device.

Containing a microphone and a chip that analyzes the incoming sound wave, the device produces an inverted wave to cancel out unwanted noise. It also uses technology called ‘adaptive filtering’ where electronic filters lock onto sound waves and remove them, even if the amplitude and frequency change as the drill is being used.

The device was initially the brainchild of Professor Brian Millar at King’s College London’s Dental Institute, who was inspired initially by carmaker Lotus’ efforts to develop a system that removed unpleasant road noise, while still allowing drivers to hear emergency sirens. Then, with more than a decade of collaboration with engineering researchers at Brunel University and London South Bank University, a prototype has been designed, built, and successfully evaluated.

Although the product is not yet available to dental practitioners, King’s is calling for an investor to help bring it to market.

Professor Brian Millar said: “Many people put off going to the dentist because of anxiety associated with the noise of the dentist’s drill. But this device has the potential to make fear of the drill a thing of the past.

“The beauty of this gadget is that it would be fairly cost-effective for dentists to buy, and any patient with an MP3 player would be able to benefit from it, at no extra cost. 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.”

The Wednesday Watch

Exclusive Interview: Patient Education and GentleWave

Exclusive Interview: Patient Education and GentleWave

21 June 2017

Patients are becoming more educated, as a world of information is readily available at our...

Technique of the Week

e-Prescribing with XLDent

e-Prescribing with XLDent

29 March 2017

Drs. David Andersen and Lora Nelson explain how easy e-Prescribing...

Technology Today

Show Me the Way

Show Me the Way

02 May 2017

This year’s International Dental Show did not disappoint: 155,000 participants from 157 countries attended,...

Implants Today

Dental Implant Prosthetic Options

01 June 2017

While implants have the mechanical availability to attach many different prosthetic options, many factors...

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