One of the biggest barriers to care in providing oral health care is the fear of dentists from the public. Patients with special healthcare needs may have sensory triggers, anatomical abnormalities, and face other barriers when seeking dental care. When dental needs are unmet, the periodontal condition worsen, and could lead to unwanted tooth decay. Early intervention and maintenance care is important to ensure the patient’s oral health is in good condition. Intervention such as sensory desensitization, caregiver education, removing the barriers to seek care, and utilization of alternative tools such as a universal soft tissue retractor will help increase patient compliance.

The sounds, sights, and smells of a dental office have always been at the forefront of patient dental anxiety. With this in mind, we set out to identify how deafening dental instruments can be. The dental handpieces, suction devices, and hygiene equipment such as the cavitron dental scaler noise levels were measured. In this study, both the hearing of the dentist and patient were analyzed along with the overall decibel level and frequencies to determine what is causing the most negative effect on the hearing of the patient as well as the operator and dental personnel. The materials used in this study were: saliva ejector, high speed evacuation suction, cavitron, slow speed handpiece, electric high speed handpiece, and air driven high speed handpiece. We used a combination of dental instruments simulating what is used in a clinical setting. The collaboration between dentists, dental students, audiologists, and audiology students was strategically used in this study to allow for this study to be highly effective and specialized.