My most popular post by far has been Cold Sore Is Herpes – Cancel Your Dental Appointment Because Your Dentist Won’t!. It proves that people certainly know that herpes simplex virus is not something that you could compare to common cold for example. They are unsure what to do when you have a cold sore and you have booked a dental appointment. And like with many other matters that you are not sure about, people turn to their all-knowing friend Google.
But it’s not only the patients who are unsure. Also the dental professionals seem to be confused and represent their questions to Google. How do I know this? Well, WordPress has very useful statistics that include also the search terms people have used when they end up to my blog. I have kept an eye on the search terms and I got this idea to write a post about them and act as a search engine for you. So here it is. The search terms (ST) and my answers.
ST: Can you go to the dentist with a cold sore?
Preferably not. Any treatment that can be postponed should be postponed.
ST: Can they take out a wisdom tooth with a cold sore?
Only the ones that cannot be postponed. If the wisdom tooth is risking your life due to an acute infection and signs of the infection are spreading to your bloodstream then it should be removed even if you have a cold sore.
ST: Why won’t the dentist see me when I have a blister in my mouth?
Because your dentist knows his business. Any responsible dentist would postpone the treatment if there are signs of herpes infection inside your mouth, lips or nose. But your dentist could explain a bit more why he didn’t see you so you wouldn’t have to google it. Here’s further reading about cold sore as an occupational hazard.
ST: Can dental treatment cause cold sores?
In theory, yes. If the practice’s cross infection control protocol is not up to the standards and they treat people with cold sores, the virus can be passed on to the next patient. The virus can stay infectious as long as 2 hours in the surfaces of the surgery and the instruments. If the next patient has never had any type of herpes infection, she’ll get primary herpes first. That’s nasty thing to have if you are an adult. Cold sore can follow as a secondary herpes after a while.
ST: Cold sore, herpes simplex, dental appointment.
I hope these things never meet in real world. Unless absolutely necessary.
ST: Does an orthodontist still take you if you have a cold sore?
If the treatment can be postponed, it should be postponed. But having said that, if the orthodontist treatment is such that no rotating, high-speed drills are to be used then it might be ok to do the treatment if the cross infection control is up to the standards.
ST: Can I have dentist with a cold sore?
Are you sure you want one? Wait until it clears and you’ll find that he is exactly the same person without cold sore. Just less infectious.
ST: Can I have a dental treatment with a cold saw?
Well, you actually could. We have instruments that look like a saw.
ST: Can you get oral herpes from the dentist.
Yes if your dentist’s cross infection control is not up to the standards and they treat patient’s with cold sore. Herpes virus can survive 2 hours in the surfaces that have not been adequately disinfected.
ST: How dental professionals can prevent from getting herpes?
Do not treat patients with cold sore. If you must (patient’s life is at risk), protect yourself with visor mask, take care of your skin as healthy skin on hands works as barrier to pathogens, use gloves, try to avoid using high-speed instruments and sonic scaler as they produce aerosols that carry pathogens, do only what is necessary until the time when the cold sore has healed. There’s no point in covering the cold sore with plaster or similar as the herpes simplex virus is also in the saliva. You should also read this article.
ST: Should a dental hygienist treat a patient with a cold sore?
Treatments the hygienists perform are rarely such that cannot be postponed. So do not take a risk. If you still act against my advise, protect yourself as advised above and do not use sonic scaler. And cross your fingers. You should also read this (scroll down to Case histories).
ST: Dentist refused to treat due to herpes.
Hooray! We have hope! Hold on to your dentist, he clearly knows his business!
ST: Dentist won’t treat me bc herpes.
Another good and responsible dentist somewhere out there! Be happy!
ST: Can I still have a filling with a cold sore?
No dentist should make you a filling when you have a cold sore. Making a filling requires high-speed rotating instruments that have water cooling system. They produce aerosol when used and the aerosols carry pathogens far and wide – possibly in the eyes of the dentist, nurse and yourself! Even if you wear protective eye-ware.
ST: What to do if patient has herpes simplex dental nurse.
I’m afraid there is not much you can do as the dentist is considered to be the one who is responsible for the treatment. The dentist decides if the treatment can be carried out. He shouldn’t of course treat patients with cold sore unless patient’s life is at risk but as you probably know the reality is very different. When you begin working with a new dentist, ask him how he deals with patients who have cold sore. If he is all about money, money, money, change jobs. Protect your health and your future as dental nurse. You can always show the dentist my article about cold sore or this article. Maybe that’ll convince him.
ST: Do dentist still remove teeth if you have a coleslaw.
We do find many things from people’s mouths. Sometimes even coleslaw between the teeth. I don’t think the dentist minds. He just wants to get your tooth out.
(It’s an obvious spelling mistake or an auto-correct error but I couldn’t resist making fun of it.)