October 04, 2022

Shh … I Can’t Hear My Teeth

Human imagination leads the way when it comes to technological innovation but every now and then a strange idea crops up, such as Chinese scientists having put forward that false teeth could be used as hearing aids.

Researchers from Tongji University in Shanghai have conducted a study that claims prosthetic dentures are better at carrying sound vibrations than natural pearly whites, so they have the potential to help those hard of hearing.

The idea is that a dental implant would be inserted directly into the jaw – a process called osseo-integration – and the vibrations captured by the device would travel directly through the bone to the inner ear.

The scientists tested 38 volunteers – using implants, natural chompers, and mastoid (part of the jaw situated behind the ear) bones – and found that the subjects were better able to hear a higher range of sounds through the implants.

Previous attempts at such technology often involved devices clipped onto teeth with a behind-the-ear microphone, but ultimately proved ineffective.

However, the study authors’ version would have a false tooth with embedded electronics to simplify the process. Hearing aid teeth could be more comfortable, easier to conceal, and offer improved quality of sound.

Don’t expect a live concert in your mouth any time soon, but the future is nearly here.

Image Credit: Source