A New Device Could Help People with Dental Anxiety

Do you have a fear of dentistry? Many people do, and most of the fear is directed towards the noisy dental drill that dentists use to bore out a cavity. Such fear may keep a person from getting the dental care they need, which could lead to major problems later when cavities become abscesses. But dental anxiety could soon be a thing of the past. Researchers at three universities in London recently developed special headphones that block out the high-pitched, grating sound that dental drills make – and that’s music to the ears of anyone who fears the dentist.

Fear of Dentistry: Soothing Dental Anxiety and Phobia with New Technology

How does this new device reduce dental anxiety? It consists of a special headphone with a microphone to wear during a dental procedure. The microphone contains a chip that analyzes the sounds coming from the room using technology called adaptive filtering. It then cancels out the scary sound of the dental drill. Combine that with a little lidocaine to numb the pain, and a trip to the dentist isn’t so scary after all.


The advantage of this technology is a patient would still be able to hear what the dentist is saying, but the drill sound and even the high-pitched suctioning would never reach their sensitive ears.

The only drawback is this new gadget isn’t available yet. The developers are looking for investors to bring it to market. You can bet that millions of people with dental anxiety and a morbid fear of dental drills are hoping to see this venture get off the ground.

Dealing with Dental Anxiety

Until this new device is available, there are still ways to ease dental anxiety. Listening to relaxing music using headphones may be enough to drown out the sounds of the dental drill. There’s also the option of getting conscious sedation during a dental procedure.

The bottom line? Don’t let dental anxiety and fear of dentistry and drills keep you from getting the dental care you need. Talk to your dentist about your anxieties. Together, you can come up with a plan to make the visit less intimidating.


Eurekalert.org. “New device set to combat fear of the dentist’s drill”