One Day Your Hearing Aid Could Be Located In Your Mouth
by Trisha Leigh
No one likes to think about going to the dentist until you really need a dentist – then, they can seem like the most important person in the world.
Dental technology, especially when it comes to implants, has improved by leaps and bounds over the past decade, bringing healthy teeth, gums, and improved quality of life to those who can afford it.
Now, there’s a chance those implants could contain hearing aids that conduct sound from your tooth, through your jaw, to your ear.
For people who are self-conscious about needing hearing aids, especially in their later years, the idea of hiding one discreetly in a tooth could be very appealing.
Researchers argue that they could definitely be more comfortable there, too.
Dental implants are connected to bone through osseointegration, which is how researchers believe they could send vibrations through the jawbone to the inner ear.
Previous research has indicated this could be possible, but experiments were conducted on clip-on devices to natural teeth, not integrated into false teeth.
To find out whether or not integration into false teeth might be possible, researchers in this study applied vibrations to the implants of 38 people, along with applying similar vibrations to natural teeth and the mastoid bones, which are used by traditional hearing aids.
They found the implants worked as well as those clipped to natural teeth, and sometimes even better, when it came to conducting sound.
No difference was found when it came to the conduction potential of teeth in the upper jaw versus the lower jaw.
Researchers therefore believe that dental implants could realistically function as hearing aids one day, and according to their paper, they believe there’s good reason to believe that they should.
“The false tooth hearing aid hybrid could provide unique advantages…such as excellent concealment, good comfort, and improved quality of sound. Therefore, with the continuous improvement of technologies, dental implant hearing aids are expected to be widely used in military, medical, daily life, and other settings.”
Take care of those teeth, people, and start saving for dental work now – there’s a good chance you’re going to need it down the road.