Why we sometimes have to say ‘no’ to treating you

at Dentalcare Westbury

Cold sores (or the herpes simplex virus, to give them the proper name) are common for many people in the UK. Like all viruses, they are contagious and pose a risk to others. The herpes simplex virus is spread through contact, either directly with saliva or through the aerosolisation of it.

This is where particles of saliva are made small enough through disturbance to be carried through the air and make contact with objects surrounding it, which means, as you can see, would pose a high risk of contamination to our team whilst you are being treated. Cold sores usually emerge as a small ulcer like patch on or surrounding the lip line, they can come up in a matter of hours and usually take between seven days and four weeks to heal, depending on the severity. In some cases, the herpes simplex virus can contaminate the eyes, which can be severe.

From the time they begin to emerge to the point at which they are fully healed, they pose a contagion risk. Dental treatment should be deferred for patients with active lesions as aerosolisation of the virus may occur during dental procedures, placing both the patient and oral health care provider at risk for possible infection or re-infection. Dental treatment should be postponed until the lesion has healed completely.

Though the patient may be comfortable after you have applied a topical medication, there is still the risk of spreading the disease to the health-care provider. Because herpes is transmittable to patients from dental health-care professionals who have active lesions, there is a risk of spreading this disease. If you do attend for your appointment, our team may unfortunately have to refuse you treatment due to the contamination risk.

We apologise for any inconvenience cause by this.

This will close in 20 seconds