Workplace Noise Exposure and Its Consequent Annoyance to Dentists

Wen Ling Chen, Chiou Jong Chen, Ching-Ying Yeh, Che Tong Lin, Hsin Chung Cheng, Ruey Yu Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Background: High-frequency noise from handpieces has caused concerns of hearing loss among dentists. However, data on dentists' workplace noise exposure are inconsistent and the literature on the consequent annoyance is limited. Aim: This study evaluated dentists' workplace noise exposure and investigated its role in causing annoyance and its role in communication function in daily life. Methods: The workplace noise levels were measured in dental clinics in a hospital. The dentists' personal noise doses and the 8-hour time-weighted average noise levels were also measured. The communication difficulties and annoyance because of workplace noise exposure were furthermore evaluated by using a self-reported questionnaire. Results: In this study, the average age of the participating dentists was 30.1±7.2 years (age range, 24-50 years) and the service seniority was 5.4±6.8 years (range, 1-26 years). The general noise level in dental clinics was moderate with an average equivalent sound pressure level of 64.2±2.4decibels (dB). Nearly all participants were annoyed by dental noise sources (prevalence, 93.6-96.8%). A low average score (1.73) showed no communication difficulty among dentists. The level of seniority was not correlated with scores of communication function or annoyance resulting from workplace noise. Conclusion: In the studied dental clinics, the dentists exposed routinely to a low workplace noise and the risk of workplace noise-induced hearing loss should be low. However, the high prevalence of annoyance resulting from dental noise sources need to be investigated in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-180
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Experimental and Clinical Medicine(Taiwan)
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013


  • Annoyance
  • Communication difficulty
  • Dental equipment
  • Noise exposure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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