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Abstract

AWARENESS AND ASSESSMENT OF WORK-RELATED HEARING IMPAIRMENT AMONG DENTAL PROFESSIONALS IN DELHI

Gaurav Mishra, Niharika Vyas, Disha chopra, Anchal Varshney, Jaishree Sharma, Dr. Himanshu Thukral*

ABSTRACT

Background: Dentist and allied professionals are undoubtedly among professional groups at risk of noise- induced hearing impairment in the workplace. There has been speculation about the relationship between hearing loss and the use of high-speed dental drills among dental professionals. In resource-poor settings, dental instruments may be old and worn out with the attendant risks of hearing impairment following their use. Aim: To report the awareness and assessment of work-related hearing impairment among dental professionals in Delhi. Methods: The study was a cross-sectional self-administered questionnaire-based survey among Dentists and dental allied staff in Delhi. Participants were given questionnaires containing detailed information about the survey to fill after consenting. Each questionnaire was examined to ensure they were properly filled and the consent form duly signed. Results: A total of 138 respondents fulfilled the inclusion criteria with a response rate of 86%. The highest respondents were Dental surgeon assistants and dental hygienist under 35 years (85.5%) of age and had worked for at least 5years. Sixty two respondents (44.9%) worked more than 8 hours / day while 76 (55.1%) worked less than 8hours/day. Out of 99(71.7%) respondents who use Ultrasonic scaler about 43(43.0%) reported that the Ultrasonic scaler was at least 5 years old while out of 84 respondents who use dental turbines, 36(42.9%) of them reported that the turbines were at least 5years old. Loud power generators were an additional source of exposure to loud noise 42(31.6%) contributing to hearing impairment. Conclusion: It is recommended that periodic hearing evaluation and use of hearing protective devices and appropriate content workshops/seminar about work related noise exposure made a mandatory part of continuous professional development for dental professionals.

Keywords: Hearing impairment; dental personnel; workplace; noise; dental handpieces.


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