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Cold sores

What is your office protocol on treating patients with cold sores?



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2 Answers

The offices I have worked at have always rescheduled patients with active cold sores. Per the CDC, patients should not undergo elective dental procedures with an active cold sore (prophy, perio maint, SRP). A dental emergency or treatment for the lesion (laser) are the only exceptions. I wrote an article going into more depth about this that you might find helpful: http://www.dentalproductsreport.com/hygiene/article/why-dental-hygienists-should-not-treat-patients-active-herpetic-lesions?

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I work in 2 offices and one office makes us treat them, and we offer Laser treatment. If the schedule allows, the doctor will laser it before the schedule appointment. Other times, we still see them which makes me very uncomfortable, so I tell the patient we can still see them even though there is a risk of us spreading it. In my other office, the doctor allows us to make the decision, and therefore, I always dismiss and I’ve never had anyone argue it before. I wish all offices rescheduled as there is a chance it can even be transferred to us. If we are cautious preventing something like needle sticks, why aren’t we cautious when putting the patient and ourselves at risk for exposure? Good luck!

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