Getting a dental appointment can take some time, and regular visits are vital to preserving oral health. Therefore, many people hate to cancel an appointment. But what if you’re sick? Is it better to keep the appointment or to reschedule it? Here is what you should know.
It should go without saying that you should never cancel a dental appointment without a good reason. Your dentist and staff members have carved out time to see you, and they may not be able to cover your missed appointment with another patient, especially if you cancel at the last minute.
To make up for the potential loss of revenue, many dental practices charge a cancellation fee. If you are sick, and you don’t have a history of missing appointments, you may be able to get this fee waived, but this is never guaranteed. Call as soon as you know you need to reschedule, as some offices only charge for cancellations within a certain time frame, such as the day of the appointment.
How Sick Are You?
Whether or not to go to your appointment depends largely on how sick you are. For example, a headache is a common condition that could make you think about cancelling. However, not all headaches are the same. If you have a reasonably high pain tolerance and a simple headache, you might prefer to suffer through. If you have a severe migraine, though, the sights and sounds of a dental office could be too much to bear. Only you know how sick you are, and what your personal tolerance level is.
Are You Contagious?
If you have a contagious illness, you might want to think twice about keeping your appointment. Your dentist and hygienist will be up close and personal with your mouth, so it isn’t fair to cough and sneeze all over them. Even if you are no longer coughing or sneezing, you could still be contagious for a full week after your symptoms first developed.
If you suspect that you are contagious, call the dentist’s office and ask about the policy for these situations. You might be rescheduled, or you might receive advice on how to cope with the illness during your appointment.
Are You Having an Invasive Procedure?
Oral surgery and other invasive procedures are typically more complicated to schedule than simple cleanings, as they take longer and require extra materials. It is best to keep your appointment if possible.
On the other hand, an existing illness weakens your immune system, increasing the risk of infection and potentially lengthening healing time. If you have a fever or other signs of a bacterial or viral illness, it may be best to reschedule your procedure. Call your dentist as soon as possible for advice.
What Should You Do If You Keep Your Appointment?
When checking in, let the office staff know what symptoms you are experiencing. Wash or sanitize your hands before and after filling out any paperwork. Cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow rather than your hands. Avoid direct contact with other patients and staff members.
In the treatment room, let each professional you interact with know that you are sick so that they can take precautions to avoid catching your illness. If you have congestion, breathing through your nose can be difficult. Let your treatment team know that you may need to take breaks to catch your breath.
Being sick is never fun, and visiting the dentist with an illness can magnify your misery. Take a hard look at your symptoms and the likelihood that you are contagious, and make an informed decision on whether to reschedule. Never hesitate to reach out to your dentist’s office for advice. If you do keep the appointment, take steps to avoid sharing your germs with others.
Want to Learn More?
If you want to learn more about how we can keep your entire family’s smiles in tip top shape, contact Savannah Dental Solutions today at (912) 354-1366 for more information or to schedule an appointment.
Dental appointments are an important part of your dental hygiene routine and your overall health. Generally, these appointments follow the same routine to ensure that you get the highest quality of care. If you’re unsure of what to expect at your next dental appointment, here are some things you can expect.
Signing in with the Receptionist
When you first arrive at the dentist’s office, expect to sign in with the receptionist and fill out any necessary paperwork that might be required. If you have dental insurance, be prepared with your card and any relevant co-pays that might be applicable. If you are a new patient, plan to arrive at least 10 to 15 minutes earlier than your appointment time to fill out paperwork about the office’s privacy policies and your health. The dentist will want to know about past medical procedures, health conditions, and allergies, especially to medications or latex.
If this is your first dental appointment at this particular practice or if it’s an annual check-up, you can expect to have x-rays taken of your mouth, teeth, and jaw line to identify any potential dental concerns. Dental x-rays are considered safe, although you should discuss any concerns about the procedure to your dentist. Pregnant women may want to check with their health practitioners to see if x-rays should wait until after the baby is born.
During most dental appointments, your dentist will examine your mouth and teeth. The dentist will look to see if your gums are healthy and if any dental issues, such as cavities, emerged since your last appointment. If this is your first time or if it’s an annual check-up, the examination should take more time to complete.
Next, the dentist will complete whatever procedure you came in for. This may include a filling or a root canal. Dental cleanings are typically performed by experienced dental hygienists. You’ll be offered pain relief, topical or injectable, for more invasive procedures that may cause pain. Surgical procedures may require nitrous oxide gas or further sedation.
Depending on what the dentist finds during the examination, the dentist may make recommendations for procedures or improved dental hygiene. The dentist should explain what is recommended, as well as why and how it should help. If there is time available to complete the recommended procedure, it is possible that it could take place during your dental appointment.
Your dentist should provide you with a price quote for services before completing any of the recommended procedures. If you have dental insurance, the dentist or staff members will determine what your out of pocket costs are. In some cases, especially for more expensive procedures, you may have to agree in writing to the procedure.
Going to the dentist should be a quick and painless part of your oral hygiene routine. If you schedule regular dental appointments, you should catch small dental issues, like cavities, before they become more serious and expensive dental procedures, like root canals. At Savannah Dental Solutions, we provide professional, expert dental care. Call us at 912-354-1366 for an appointment today.