I am Sick, Should I Go to the Dentist?

Sharma RDH

Sharma Mulqueen, RDH

I am Sick, Should I Go to the Dentist?

Working in the dental field for twenty years I have seen many patients unsure if they should cancel their dental appointment due to not feeling good.  Many are concerned because they are unsure if it’s going to get worse or not.  Most offices charge a late fee if the appointment is not cancelled within a 48 hours’ notice.  Should I cancel or just go in for my appointment?

The biggest question “Do I have the flu?” It’s not always obvious how infectious you are to others. Also, it’s hard to know if you have the flu or a cold early on with your symptoms. The best thing you can do is take your temperature and monitor it.  If it continues to rise, more than likely you have the flu.

Center for disease control states the symptoms of the flu are fever, chills, fatigue, body aches, sore throat, and headache are common symptoms of flu. Not everyone with flu will have a fever. The flu can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The flu is different from a cold. The flu usually comes on suddenly.

If a patient is suffering from flu-like symptoms, we recommended that you reschedule your appointment.  The flu, or influenza, is spread from an infected person through small particles released into the air when you sneeze or cough; even talking may release small particles into the air. A single sneeze may infect numerous people.  Not only can you infect other patients, but you can also spread the infection to the dental staff.  Dental professionals work in direct contact with fluids in the mouth so if you’re infected, they may get the virus. Although they engage in frequent hand-washing and barriers such as: gloves, masks and eyewear to protect themselves from infectious diseases, these are not foolproof.

Be sure to phone the dental office and explain why you need to reschedule. Some offices appreciate that you’re considering their health and the health of other patients and will waive the fee if you’re not a frequent offender.  When in doubt, ask your dental office if the visit should be cancelled.

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