Dental surgeon adds music to drill to appease patients

October 11, 2012 by Bob Yirka, Medical Xpress weblog
Credit: Department of Defense. Department of the Army.

(Medical Xpress)—Doctor Dhanni Gustiana, a dental surgeon in the Indonesian city of Purworejo has devised a unique way to calm patients undergoing dental procedures. He's connected an MP3 player to a dental drill that plays music loud enough to drown out the distinctive whine of the instrument. He spoke with Mail Online recently and said that he discovered that many patients, especially children were not afraid of the dentist; instead, they were afraid of the drill. That, he added, caused him to begin looking into ways to reduce the fear people feel when the drill is turned on.

By connecting the drill with the , Gustiana says, patients are able to control its volume by opening and closing their mouths. The wider they open, the louder the music grows which means the dentist doesn't have to continually urge patients to open wider for better access to back teeth. To reduce fear further, he has also added and to the drill head, giving it a friendlier appearance.

Gustiana reports that he invested 6 million rupiah (approximately $595) in configuring the drill, which he says was mainly for the benefit of frightened children. He has been using it in his practice since 2006 and has noted that many adults also prefer the musical drill to the . Patients can make requests he says, though he does try to limit the choices to songs that calm the nerves. He adds that it took a year of research and effort to configure the drill, thought the results have been worth the effort. Most patients don't even notice the drill anymore, he asserts.

Online confirmed the doctor's claims by actually witnessing the drill in use on a young female patient, whose mother said her daughter no longer fears going to the dentist. She echoed Gustiana's sentiments by adding that her daughter doesn't seem to notice the drill at all anymore, except for the music it provides.

Doctor Gustiana presented his modified drill to attendees at the International Dental Congress held in Greece earlier this year.

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