Sense of Hearing


Sound is an extremely strong stimulus, and anyone who suffers from dental anxiety will show all the signs of “fight or flight” if they hear the infamous air turbine whine (a.k.a.: “the drill”).

Many people equate the sound of the drill with pain. The logic behind this is simple: if a patient had a painful dental experience in the past that was accompanied by the sound of a dental tool, the patient may associate that sound with pain. Simply hearing the sound may evoke a “perception” of pain.

Technology is constantly changing, and dentistry has become quieter.

When noise is “inserted” into our mouth it sounds much louder than it actually is – the best way to prevent anxiety with dental noises is for you to demonstrate any instrument that makes a noise while the patient sits upright. 

Sitting upright helps the patients feel more “in control.”

Well-fitting headphones and a pleasant soundtrack eliminate environmental noises and can help soothe anxious patients. If the headset is not wanted, a distracting monologue can work wonders.