Noise level and ultrasound spectra during burring

Clin Oral Investig. 2002 Sep;6(3):133-6. doi: 10.1007/s00784-002-0163-6. Epub 2002 May 22.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the noise spectra of current dentistry equipment during normal work at the dental clinic and in the laboratory. In the study, noise was measured during the dental treatment of seven patients at a dental clinic and also in the acoustics laboratory, where working noise was simulated by drilling a polyacetal plate. All samples were analyzed in audible and ultrasonic areas in the one-third octave bands of 20-80,000 Hz. The measuring instruments used were B&K 4135 microphones, B&K 2633 preamplifiers, the B&K 2811 multiplexer, and the B&K 2133 real-time analyzer with the ZT 0318 high-frequency expansion unit. In the in situ measurements, the A-weighted sound pressure level was occasionally over 85 dB(A), and the equivalent continuous A-weighted sound pressure level, L(Aeq), was 76 dB(A). The noise level was most powerful in the one-third octave band of 40,000 Hz, where it was 74 dB. In laboratory measurements, the noise levels of the air-turbine and the micromotor hand pieces (n=16) were also most powerful in the one-third octave band of 40,000 Hz, where they were 80-89 dB. The L(Aeq) of the different micromotor handpieces (n=6) varied between 76 dB(A) and 77 dB(A), and the L(Aeq) of the turbine hand pieces (n=10) varied between 77 dB(A) and 82 dB(A). The noise of the drills is most powerful in the high frequencies, so using hearing protectors, it is possible that speech communication improves because the protectors attenuate high frequencies more than low frequencies. The very light protectors give sufficient protection against the drilling noise.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acoustics / instrumentation
  • Dental Clinics
  • Dental High-Speed Equipment
  • Dentistry, Operative* / instrumentation
  • Ear Protective Devices
  • Humans
  • Laboratories, Dental*
  • Noise, Occupational* / prevention & control
  • Pressure
  • Sound Spectrography / instrumentation
  • Technology, Dental / instrumentation
  • Ultrasonics*