On the day of your appointment, you have a headache. The stomach flu. A bad virus. You’ve caught the flu during a widespread flu outbreak. Or you panic when you see a dentist appointment coming up. What are you going to do about your epic cold? Or the fact that you can’t stop sneezing from allergies?
We’ve all been there. We’ve all asked the question at one time or another: should I still go to my dentist appointment? Unfortunately, this is one of those questions that doesn’t have a clear answer. You can come to a clear answer just by asking yourself these easy questions.
How sick am I?
Make an honest evaluation of your condition before you head out the door. How do you feel? Do you feel somewhat well? If you were able to work and get through the day okay, you can probably make it through the dentist appointment. Depending on the medication and procedure, you may still be able to be treated by the dentist if you have taken medicine for your illness or pain (if you have any questions about whether your medication could impact the success of your dentist appointment, don’t hesitate to contact your dentist). On the other hand, if you can barely make it out of bed to drive to the appointment, it may be time to call and reschedule the dentist appointment.
Am I going to make everyone else sick?
You can’t wear a mask when you’re in the dentist chair. If there’s a possibility you are contagious and could pass your illness to your dentist, staff members, or other patients, it might be best to stay home. Remember, just one sneeze in the waiting room can spread the illness to many different people. If there’s any chance you could have influenza (i.e. body aches, chills, congestion, headache, sneezing), head to the doctor to get tested and treated instead of the dentist to prevent the spread of the flu.
What is the appointment for?
In most cases, routine dental procedures can be done whether you are sick or not. If your procedure is for a more complicated procedure, such as a tooth extraction, contact the dentist office to see if you can still have the procedure done. If the appointment can still happen, give your dentist a list of all the medications you are taking to fight your illness (as well as regular prescriptions).
Can I sit through the dentist appointment?
All your questions boil down to whether or not you feel comfortable sitting through the appointment. If you are vomiting or have severe abdominal pain, a dentist appointment is going to feel excruciating. A migraine is going to deliver the same uncomfortable experience. Remember, dentist appointments should be pleasant, not a painful experience because you are so sick.