A new hearing aid capable of transmitting sound through a person’s teeth has been approved for use in Europe. The device, is called SoundBite, it is custom made and placed onto the upper molars of the patient. The hearing aid uses bone conduction (vibro-tactile transmission) to transmit sound to the patients inner ear. A network of mini microphones are placed behind the impaired ear and pick up the sound in the environment and cancel out the noise. The sound is transmitted wirelessly to the prosthetic piece in the mouth. The device sends the vibrations through the teeth and bones directly to the cochlea (inner ear), bypassing the middle and outer ear. Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) have warned that it may not be suitable for everyone with hearing problems, however, bone conduction hearing aids are particularly useful in patients who have conductive problems, pinna malformation and unilateral hearing losses.
I think this is a brilliant solution for a certain population of hearing aid wearer, bone conduction hearing aids are extremely useful for single sided deafness (SSD), conductive loss and for patients who have an absent or malformed ear / ear canal. I can see a few practical issues with such a device, however all hearing aids have some physical issues to get used to. This device will not be suitable for many typical hearing losses. If you would like to know more about bone conduction hearing aids, single sided deafness or hearing aids for challenging hearing losses then contact us at Chalfont Hearing Centre today on 01494 765144