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New device to silence dental drill

Monday January 10th 2011

The terrifying sound of the dreaded dental drill could be a thing of the past after the makers of an innovative new device claim to be able to cancel out the noise.

Experts at King's College London, Brunel University and London South Bank University claim that the prototype uses a similar technique to noise-cancelling headphones to silence the high pitched sound responsible for creating so much anxiety in dentists' waiting rooms across the world.

The device would connect to an MP3 player or mobile phone. Patients would plug their headphones into the device once it has been attached, enabling them to hear their music while the sound of the drill is drowned out. The patient will still be able to hear the dentist and other members of the dental team speaking to them, however.

Professor Brian Millar, of King's College London's Dental Institute, originally conceived the device. He said: "The beauty of this gadget is that it would be fairly cost-effective for dentists to buy, and any patient with an MP3 player would be able to benefit from it, at no extra cost."

It is hoped that the device would lessen the anxiety of trips to dentist and encourage more people to seek the oral healthcare treatment they require.

Copyright © Press Association 2011

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