Surviving a Visit to the Dentist with Tinnitus

Going to the dentist is something that many people dread, but for tinnitus sufferers it can become a nightmare. Even just a simple dental cleaning can cause anxiety with the tool’s dentists use. Scraping away plaque, drilling tools, and keeping your jaw open for a long time can be extremely uncomfortable.

 
Cropped shot of professional dentist curing scared mature patient in dental clinic
 

So, what can tinnitus sufferers do to make dental visits more comfortable?

 First, let your dentist know that you have been diagnosed with tinnitus. Most dentists are aware of the condition because so many people have it, and they will make sure to use gentle techniques while working on your teeth.

Tinnitus and Ultrasonic Cleaning Tools

Many dental hygienists use ultrasonic plaque removal cleaning tools. This tool has a very loud, high pitched sound that transmits through the bone into your inner ear. You might think that ear plugs would help, but they can actually make it worse because the ear plugs block out all other noise, which will make the sound worse.

If your dental hygienist has previously used this tool on you to remove plaque, make sure on your next visit to use the manual plaque removal tools instead.

Tinnitus and Dental Drills

Most dental work requires using a dental drill. Like ultrasonic cleaning tools, dental drills can be very noisy and the sound will transmit through the bone into your inner ear. Unfortunately, there aren’t any alternatives to the dental drill; however, you can ask your dentist to use the drill in short spans. If your dentist uses the drill for just a few seconds at a time, with a break in between, it will help lessen the intensity of the noise.

Tinnitus and Dental Procedures

Major dental work usually takes a long time to be completed. And even then, it might only be a temporary fix until the permanent one is available! For dental procedures that will take an extensive amount of time, find out if the dental work can be broken up into multiple visits. It might not always be possible, but it doesn’t hurt to find out, especially if it means less chance of it irritating your tinnitus.

Tinnitus and Preparing for the Dentist

Believe it or not, preparing yourself mentally for an upcoming dental visit can help lessen any anxiety you may have. Here are a few ideas to help yourself get ready for your next visit:

  • Practice deep breathing or meditate

  • Bring something comforting with, like a small pillow to cuddle or something soft you can hold in your hand

  • Listen to soothing music on your drive to the dentist

  • Go over the process at the dentist prior to your appointment

 The specialists at Sound Hearing Care are available to help you manage your tinnitus. Contact us today to schedule an appointment at any of our four convenient locations including Simpsonville, Greer, Travelers Rest, and Greenville.