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Hyperacusis/ cannot bear sound of drills... other options?



Junior member
Jan 4, 2017

I guess this qualifies as a phobia, although it's well rooted in reality. I suffer from extreme tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and hyperacusis, which is often described as over-sensitivity to sound, but actually results in extreme pain in the auditory nerves when exposed to many sounds, particularly high frequency ones that otherwise do not bother people without this condition. Hyperacusis lowers the threshold for feeling pain from sound to a level that includes many things we experience in daily life, one of which is a dentist's drill.

So basically, any dental work involving a drill, is going to set off my tinnitus and make it much louder (it's already about as loud as a kettle inside my head), and will cause the hyperacusis to worsen as well, and not just for a day or two, it takes weeks for months for it to calm down after a setback I know this sounds strange, but trust me, it's a condition, you can look it up. But given that it's bad enough already I really don't want to make it worse, and is there anyway I can get work done on see a cavity without using the drill? Lasers? Anything?

I will point out that I have had many experiences with the drill in the past before having this condition, and while not always pleasant, I had no particular fear of them. So the issue is really one of sound levels.

And before you give me the obvious answer of using earplugs, the sound from the drill is also conducted through the bone and from inside the mouth, so they don't really help. I'm specifically asking if there is any way to work on a decayed tooth other than using a drill?

thanks in advance.
Depending on where you are, there are places that will knock you out while your there... as in - give you a shot and it puts you to sleep.
It is possible to use a diamond ultrasound tip for preps but very slow and requires a rather expensive device. You would have a hard time finding someone and convincing them to use it. There are lasers that are used to chip away at teeth but also rather slow.
Other solutions would be to use large headphones with music that you prefer along with electric handpieces(drills) make less noise and some type of sedation. Best sedation is IV.