Tinnitus from dental drilling

Hi All,

For some history, I am in my late 40's and never had tinnitus or any other hearing related problem. Whenever I worked in noise filled environments I always wore proper protective equipment. The same goes for the gun range, I have top over the ear protection.

One day my dentist decided I needed an old filling replaced, so I was under the drill for at least 1 hour, probably more because it the filling was in a tough spot. I never thought anything about it as I've had filling before, but later that night, or certainly by the next night I noticed a ringing in my left ear(same side as the filling). I did pay too much attention, but as it persisted I called the dentist to ask if it was related to the treatment, and how long would it last. He said he did not think it should be related to the filling, but that a high speed drill does create a high pitched noise level, so keep him up to date. With it still bothering me a couple weeks later he suggested I see an ENT. The story goes on from there, but without any definitive association to the treatment at the dentist. So while no one has ruled it out, they are not willing to say it could have been a cause or contributing factor.

So, has anyone here ever associated hearing problems to dental work with high speed drills being used? For that matter has anyone developed T or other hearing maladies afterward, even if it was not diagnosed as being dental treatment related?

  • Hi VV, my story almost mirrors yours exactly. Treatment carried out last October, 2018. ENT specialist and dentist himself almost disparaging of any link between extensive dental drilling and damage to my inner ear??! Medical negligence lawyers not interested, especially no win no fee ones. One expert likely to counter another’s opinion and pricey to get one to back you. Hugely unsatisfactory as I strongly feel that it must have been the dental treatment which has caused ongoing tinnitus, a very debilitating, frustrating and annoying condition.

    Has your condition abated over the years or not and you’ve just had to live with it. Have you had any success with any form of treatment?

    Tim M

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  • Hi vectorvictor

    if you were not exposed to any other loud noise then it is possible the drill could have caused tinnitus as you say it was for an hour, it has a high pitch frequency and also you have the vibration factor too.
    also worth considering is what injection they gave you, was it different to any you have had before, as my partner had a different injection to normal and he had a bad reaction so its worth asking your dentist as some medicines are ototoxic especially if you are sensitive.

    good luck with the ENT, at least a hearing test will confirm if you have any hearing loss