Dental implants now work as hearing aid.
Although it sounds unusual, an assisting hearing device can now lie in our oral cavity through a dental implant. It will be capable of conducting sound from the tooth to the jaw to the ear.
The researchers studied the idea and published it this month. Moreover, though the mouth is not the most ideal place designed to improve hearing, the researchers argued otherwise. They said that a hearing aid tucked in the teeth may be a more comfortable and discreet option for regular users.
Hearing Aid In A Dental Implant
Dental implants are connected to the bone directly through a process called osseointegration. Hence, there is speculation that the vibrations can be sent through the jawbone to the inner ear. Moreover, “bone conduction” may be possible one day for imparting sound vibrations and other than that lost teeth can also be replaced, functioning as a hearing aid.
Research has been conducted previously on the bone conduction of natural teeth but never on artificial teeth. And although tooth-based hearing aids have been made before with a good success rate, they were clip-on, on the teeth instead of being integrated.
The first task of the researchers to bring their hearing-aid-in-a-tooth concept to life was to check if artificial teeth will work. Whether they would transmit sound when anchored to the jawbone.
They applied vibrations to the implants, in addition to natural teeth and mastoid bone of thirty-eight people to compare. The implants worked at a range of frequencies and at some points better than the natural teeth and mastoid bones. Especially the teeth situated in the front of the mouth, suggesting that a harder and denser jawbone in the area could be the reason.
However, surprisingly, there was no difference in bone conduction in the maxillary teeth in comparison with the mandibular teeth.
The researchers concluded that dental implants could assist in hearing in the future if technology allows.
The researchers wrote in their paper,