Noise level and its influences on dental professionals in a dental hospital in Hong Kong

Zhengtao Ai, C.M. Mak, H.M. Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Noise is recognized as one of the major indoor environmental issues in dental settings. This study presents the noise measurements and questionnaire surveys conducted in the clinics for pediatric dentistry and laboratories in the Prince Philip Dental Hospital in Hong Kong. Noise level and octave noise spectrum were measured at 60 locations distributed around the working areas. Totally, 60 valid questionnaires were collected, of which 30 were completed by dental surgery assistants and 30 by laboratory technicians. Data were coded and analyzed statistically using SPSS 19.0. The average noise levels in the dental clinics and laboratories were 62.6 dB(A) and 67.7 dB(A), respectively, which are well below the limit of 85 dB(A) for causing hearing loss. Statistical analysis shows that there is a significant difference in hearing status (condition of hearing ability) between different gender, age and occupation groups. Among others, noise generated by the equipment operated by others presents a principal influence on
dental professionals. Importantly, suddenness and frequency of noise occurrence, rather than noise level, produce a significant influence on dental works. Most dental professionals work routinely and do not take any precautions or actions against noise at work.
Practical application: The findings of this study should first increase the understanding of acoustical environment in dental settings for clinicians and its influence on dental professionals and second help designers and engineers improve the acoustical environment in dental settings.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBuilding Services Engineering Research & Technology
Number of pages14
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2017
Externally publishedYes

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