If you have allergies, whether they’re food-related or otherwise, you’re no doubt accustomed to exercising caution at parties, the grocery store, restaurants and other places where you might inadvertently purchase or be served something you’re allergic to.
But there’s someplace else where you should be careful that might not be immediately obvious, and that’s your dentist’s office. Whether it’s routine cleaning or any other procedure, dental work can expose you to potentially dangerous substances if you have allergies.
- Gluten: If you have a gluten intolerance or allergy, ask your dentist if the polishing agent he uses contains gluten. Many of them do. The next time you make an appointment for a regular dental cleaning, ask your dentist’s office to use only gluten-free polishing agents.
- Metals: If you suffer from a metal allergy, remember that many crowns and fillings are made from metal. If your dentist uses a metal restoration in your mouth, you could suffer an allergic reaction that won’t go away until the crown or filling is removed. Instead, tell your dentist about your metal allergy and ask him to use only all-porcelain crowns and fillings.
- Acrylic: This substance is often used for temporary veneers, implants and crowns. If you’re sensitive to acrylics, ask your dentist to use a composite material instead.
- Eugenol: This sedative agent is often used in cements. If you notice allergic reactions after your dentist uses a cement – symptoms such as tissue damage and inflammation you may have an allergy to eugenol. Be sure to tell your dentist right away if you show signs of an allergy.
- Epinephrine: Used in dental anesthetics, this substance can result in an increased heart rate and a high level of anxiety in people that are allergic or sensitive to it. Again, tell your dentist right away if you feel any type of increased heart rate or anxiety.
- Latex: Dentists commonly come across patients with an allergy to latex. Make sure to tell your dentist if you know that you’re sensitive to latex. He can use latex-free polishing angles and latex-free gloves to eliminate your exposure to the allergen.
Whatever type of allergy you have, it’s important to tell your dentist about it before you have any dental work done. That’s the only way that your dentist can make sure you’re not exposed to an allergen during your visit.
Even if you aren’t certain that you have an allergy, tell your dentist if you experience any allergic-type symptoms after your visit. He or she may be able to help identify what might be the source of the problem and make sure that you’re not exposed to it in future visits.
Whatever you do, don’t let allergies keep you from visiting your dentist on a regular basis. It’s important to have your teeth cleaned twice a year or even more often if that’s what you dentist recommends.
In order to keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible, you need to not only practice good oral hygiene – like brushing and flossing twice a day – but also to visit your dentist for regular cleanings and not to delay having work done when you need it.
Remember, chances are the symptoms you encounter as a result of an allergic reaction to a substance used by your dentist are probably not nearly as uncomfortable as the damage to your teeth and gums brought about by neglect.
It’s also advisable to ask your children how they feel after a dental visit. If you suspect your child may be suffering an allergic reaction as a result of a dental visit, talk to your dentist right away so he can protect your child during future visits. When it comes to solving the problem of encountering allergens at your dental office, open and honest communication with your dentist is the only answer.
From your first visit to the completion of your treatment, at Drews Dental we treat your mouth like it’s our own. With an office in Lewiston that enables us to service Auburn as well, you’ll be sure to receive high quality dental care no matter where you live. Through cosmetic dentistry we are able to open doors and provide smiles that people aren’t afraid to show.
At Drews Dental we only use the most up-to-date modern cosmetic dentistry tools. The appearance of your teeth, face, and smile mean the world to us that’s why every single patient is treated and evaluated differently; to fit their personal needs. We want you to be impressed when you enter our office and know you will be when your treatment is complete. We have many satisfied clients in Lewiston, Auburn, and the surrounding communities and look forward to welcoming you, too.
And if you're allergic to ice cream, don't worry - we only serve up smiles!