Dental research and technology is pretty amazing. Nowadays your dental team at Lilly Family Dentistry has fantastic ways to replace missing teeth, lower the risk of heart disease, give you a bright white smile, and much more. But who would have ever thought that teeth could have a significant role in helping deaf people hear again?
Doctors at Oklahoma University have developed a way to transmit sounds through the teeth, allowing those who are completely deaf in one ear to hear much better!
Dustin Brown is a patient who lost his hearing in one ear due to cancer, causing what doctors refer to as “single-sided deafness.” Instead of surgery, Brown opted for a system in which a dental retainer-like device was placed over the lower molars and a small microphone put in his deaf ear. This then transmits the sound through his teeth into his unaffected ear.
Dr. Betty Tsai, a physician at Oklahoma University said, “Bone is actually a very good conductor for sound. In fact, sound travels more efficiently through bone than it does through air.”
Dustin and his wife say this technology has not only helped him hear again, but it has helped them communicate.
Jennifer Brown, Dustin’s wife, said, “It’s a lot less frustrating now. Before he would have to say, ‘huh’ or ‘what.’ It’s just so much better for us.”
Dustin said, “The most difference I’ve seen is when I’m driving down the road with my wife. I can actually hear what she’s saying now.”
Not only can Dustin hear better, but just for saying that he wins Husband of the Year!
To find out what other great technology dentistry has to offer, or to schedule a cleaning, examination, or consultation, give us a call at 712-239-5125 and remember, at Lilly Family Dentistry, we are here for you!!