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Patients with a latex allergy should consider visiting the dentist first thing in the morning before latex and powdered gloves are used, recommends AGD spokesperson Maharukh Kravich, DDS, FAGD. "Particles of latex build up in the air as the day goes on."
For patients allergic to anesthetics, "It is usually because of the preservative in the anesthetic and in that case another anesthetic without the allergen should be used," explains Dr. Kravich.
Latex and local anesthetics are not the only materials that may cause an allergic reaction. Dr. Kravich notes that patients can have reactions to other chemicals and materials found in some dental materials or medications. Dr. Kravich recommends patients have a full examination by an allergist to determine if any allergies exist.
Patients can do their part by completing the medical history form in detail, outlining their allergies and past reactions to specific materials and drugs. In addition to alerting the dentist and dental staff of any allergies, patients who have concerns should also consider carrying an epinephrine kit (EpiPen) and use a medic alert bracelet that clearly states their allergy.
Common allergic reactions:
Reviewed: January 2012
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