Researchers Consider Placing Hearing Aids in Dental Implants
In a development that might initially seem far-fetched, researchers are considering incorporating hearing aids into dental implants.
In a development that might initially seem far-fetched, researchers are considering incorporating hearing aids into dental implants. The marriage may have merit, however, as dental implants — which are osseointegrated into bone — may be able to transmit vibrations through the jawbone to the inner ear. For the hearing impaired, this would provide a more discrete solution than traditional hearing aids or cochlear implants.
Reporting in the The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, researchers from the Department of Prosthodontics, Stomatological Hospital and Dental School of Tongji University and the Shanghai Engineering Research Center of Tooth Restoration and Regeneration in China tested the use of implants as an orally placed “bone conduction (BC) hearing assistive device.” As noted in the paper, “The Sensitivity of Bone Conduction for Dental Implants,” the team studied human auditory thresholds to BC stimulation via specially modified implants and found that implants “exhibited excellent BC properties.” These results suggest that further investigation is needed into what may become an emerging field of combined acoustical/dental engineering and clinical therapy.
From Decisions in Dentistry. March 2023;9(3)8.