You could one day wear hearing aids in your mouth thanks to dental implant technology, according to 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.
What to Know
Dental implants are directly connected to bone through a process called osseointegration, which can potentially send vibrations through the jawbone to the inner ear as discreet alternatives to conventional hearing aids and cochlear implants that people with hearing impairments often use.
Bone-anchored hearing aids and cochlear implants function by amplifying sound through bone conduction or vibrations in a technique that could be mirrored in teeth implants.
The electronics that create sound vibrations used in conventional hearing devices could be built into the portion of a false tooth anchored into the jawbone.
Implants work as well as, and sometimes even better than, natural teeth or mastoid bones (behind the ear) at conducting sound at a wide range of frequencies.
Upper jaw (maxillary) and lower jaw (mandibular) dental implants are similar in bone conduction sensitivity, while teeth located at the front of the mouth, where the jawbone is harder and denser, appeared to work slightly better than dental implants toward the back of the jaw.
This is a summary of the article, "The Sensitivity of Bone Conduction for Dental Implants," published in The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America on September 30, 2022. The full article can be found on asa.scitation.org.
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Cite this: You May One Day Listen With Your Mouth - Medscape - Dec 22, 2022.