Journal of the Korean Academy of Pediatric Dentistry 2012;39(3):267-272.
Published online August 31, 2012.
Bomin Kwon, Ji-hyun Lee, Shin Kim, Tae-sung Jeong
Department of Pediatric Dentistry, School of Dentistry, Pusan National University 
소아치과 진료실에서 발생하는 소음 평가
권보민, 이지현, 김신, 정태성
부산대학교 치의학전문대학원 소아치과학교실
Correspondence:  Tae-sung Jeong,  Tel: 055-360-5181, Email:
Received: 5 June 2012   • Accepted: 13 August 2012
Dental professionals are exposed to various occupational risks, among which the problem of hearing damage has been newly revealed. There have been some researches reporting that noise occurring in a dental office exceeds the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) Standards. Especially, the pediatric dentists are repeatedly exposed to an additional noise source called the crying sound of children in addition to all kinds of noises from dental instruments. Accordingly, this study intended to investigate the noise environment likely to affect pediatric dentists and to examine the possibility of resultant hearing damages. The level of noise was measured respectively, when various dental instruments (ultrasonic scaler, high-speed handpiece, low-speed handpiece) are operated, when children are crying, and when both occasions take place simultaneously (from the distance of 30 cm) with a portable noise meter. And the daily duration of pediatric dentists exposed to the noise environment was surveyed. The results were compared with the standard value of noise threshold of NIOSH, OSHA, and that of hearing damage of CRA News letter respectively. Considering the intensity and exposure time, the noise environment of pediatric dentists exceeds the allowable noise threshold values. Even only one exposure to crying child was likely to lead to permanent hearing damage. Comparatively, pediatric dentists have a higher risk for occupational hearing damages, and some active measures are thought highly desirable to minimize it.
Key Words: Noise from dental clinic, Allowable noise level, Crying sound from children, Hearing damage

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