Dental Innovations debuted its DI-15 electronic earplugs at the Greater New York Dental Meeting (GNYDM) this week.
Exposure to high-frequency equipment noise is unavoidable for dental professionals, and over a period of years, this exposure can gradually damage the hair cells in the inner ear, producing tinnitus and hearing loss, according to the company. A number of published studies show poorer hearing in dental professionals compared with non-noise exposed medical professionals, and the ADA recommends the use of hearing protection when using dental equipment.
The DI-15 electronic earplugs were developed for Dental Innovations by Etymotic Research, recipient of the Safe-in-Sound award for pioneering technical expertise and innovation in hearing loss prevention, awarded jointly by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the National Hearing Conservation Association.
Advanced circuitry in DI-15 electronic earplugs automatically changes output levels as sound input levels change, which means that as environmental sound becomes unsafe, the earplugs automatically lower sound to safer levels. They then provide natural hearing when sound levels are safe, and there's no need to remove the earplugs to hear clearly.
The DI-15 earplugs are "active" earplugs powered by small batteries, which means that they restore soft sounds that are lost when its ear tips seal off the ear canals, and automatically activate and attenuate when protection is needed. These high-fidelity earplugs contain high-definition transducers: balanced-armature drivers, high-sensitivity microphones, and advanced adaptive compression signal processing. They have a bandwidth of 40 Hz to 16 kHz for excellent sound quality.