Latex is a versatile material made from natural rubber. It creates a secure barrier against infection, so it’s commonly used in many medical settings. In fact, some 40,000 products, medical and otherwise, are made from latex. This rubber is virtually everywhere.
Needless to say, your allergy to latex is more than a bit inconvenient.
The dental office is no exception when it comes to the abundance of latex in the medical field. From routine dental cleanings and checkups to fillings, root canals, and implants, virtually every dental treatment typically involves latex. How can you ensure a safe visit for your dental treatment?
Be thorough when disclosing your health history to a dental professional. Questions on a form that might seem silly (i.e., are you allergic to bananas?) are actually designed to find connections to a possible latex allergy.
Ask your local dental office whether they are totally latex-free and if not, what protocol they have in place for treating patients with a latex allergy.
If a piece of equipment looks suspiciously made of latex, don’t be shy about asking before the dental professional uses it. Chances are, they use the equipment so routinely that they may forget it contains latex. Be your own advocate and speak up!
If you are worried that a dental professional will question the validity of your allergy, then keep a note from your allergist with you to put on file. In fact, if your allergy is severe enough, you should have a medical alert bracelet or chain on your person. Take it upon yourself to keep an Epipen with you at all times.
With a little careful forethought and clear communication, you can get the dental treatment you need in a safe and latex-free setting.
Posted on behalf of:
Preston Sherry Dental Associates
6134 Sherry Ln
Dallas, TX 75225
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