Researchers have developed a new device that effectively cancels out the dreaded sounds of a dentist's drilling machine.
The device, jointly developed by researchers at King's College London, Brunel University and London South Bank University, allows patients to listen to MP3 songs while the drill is being used.
Patients will also still be able to hear the dentist speak, as the device cleverly only cancels out the sounds made by the drill. The technology used is similar to that found in noise-cancelling headphones.
Dr Mark Atherton of Brunel University's School of Engineering and Design said in a statement to BBC News (opens in new tab): “You can't switch the patient off. They want to have a conversation with the dentist, so they can't just put a pair of ear-muffs on, they still want to hear a voice.”
He claimed that by not being able to hear the sound of the drill, people will be less frightened and more inclined to go to the dentist and get their teeth checked.