For some people, a latex allergy can be a dangerous and potentially life-threatening condition, and visiting the dentist means you may need to take a few extra precautions to protect yourself. Here are a few things to consider doing before you head to the dentist.
Alert Your Dentist In Advance
You'll want to give your dentist a chance to make preparations to accommodate your allergy in advance, so it's a good idea to let the staff know about your allergy when you schedule your appointment. You may be able to schedule your checkup first thing in the morning before any latex gloves or equipment have been used in the office. Some dental practices may also offer latex-free appointment days, which are reserved for people with these allergies so proper protocols can be followed throughout the day. Remember to call the day before just to remind the staff of your allergy so everything is prepared when you arrive.
Even if your dentist takes extra precautions, there may still be a risk of coming into contact with latex while you are in the office. For this reason, it's a good idea to bring your emergency epinephrine auto-injection. If you don't have one, talk to your primary care physician in advance to get a prescription. In some cases, your dentist's office may have an emergency supply ready in the event of a severe allergic reaction.
Wear A Medical ID Bracelet
Even if your dentist makes a note of your allergy in your file, it's a good idea to wear a medical ID bracelet that explains you have a latex allergy. This provides an added layer of protection against the possibility of staff wearing latex gloves during your exam. In fact, consider wearing it all the time, as this will also alert EMTs and emergency workers should you have a medical emergency.
Keep An Eye Out For A Reaction
Not everyone will have an immediate allergic reaction when coming into contact with latex. In some cases, a mild reaction may start after you've already left the dentist's office. You may notice a rash, itchiness, or irritated skin later on, which can be treated with over-the-counter topical creams. However, if you notice more severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, contact 9-1-1 immediately for medical care.
Talk with staff at dental offices like Asuncion Dental and work together to create a system that helps you to get your regular checkups and dental work performed while still giving you added peace of mind.