Technology Cancels the Sound of Dentist’s Drill: Wide-Open Dental Marketing Appeal to Phobic and Anxious Patients

By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer

Animation of dentist checking patient's teethIt appears that the chaps over at King’s College London’s Dental Institute—the largest academic dental center in Europe—think they have something that will appeal to both dentists and dental phobic patients alike. It seems that Professor Brian Millar and associates have developed an “adaptive filtering” technology that erases the universally disliked sound of the dentist’s drill.

The patient can still listen to music and hear what the dentist is saying—only the sound of the dental handpiece is effectively neutralized. The prototype gizmo was “inspired by carmaker Lotus’ efforts to develop a system that removed unpleasant road noise, while still allowing drivers to hear emergency sirens,” according to

The innovative device “contains a microphone and a chip that analyzes the incoming sound wave, and produces an inverted wave that cancels out unwanted noise. Patients would plug the device into their MP3 player or mobile phone, and then plug their headphones into the device.”

Dentists, dental marketing professionals and device manufacturers have long been aware of—and working on ways to reduce—the anxiety-inspiring noise of the dental drill. The new device would introduce a novel marketing appeal for phobic and regular patients alike.

The current complement of comforting techniques in use by dental offices (or ideas that could be added) includes ultra-quiet and electric handpieces from device manufacturers, virtual reality goggles and other audio/video distractions, warm “security blankets” and relaxation toys.

Stay tuned. King’s College is looking for investors in order to produce the device. While we’re all waiting, if your dental marketing plan needs immediate inspiration and innovation to attract the patients and cases you want, reach out to us today.

Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer at Healthcare Success
Stewart Gandolf, MBA, is Chief Executive Officer of Healthcare Success, one of the nation's leading healthcare and digital marketing agencies. Over the past 20 years, Stewart has marketed and consulted for over 1,000 healthcare clients, ranging from practices and hospitals to multi-billion dollar corporations. A frequent speaker, Stewart has shared his expertise at over 200 venues nationwide. As an author and expert resource, Stewart has also written for many leading industry publications, including the 21,000 subscriber Healthcare Success Insight blog. Stewart also co-authored, "Cash-Pay Healthcare: Start, Grow & Perfect Your Cash-Pay Healthcare Business." Stewart began his career with leading advertising agencies, including J. Walter Thompson, where he marketed Fortune 500 clients such as Wells Fargo and Bally's Total Fitness.



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