I have a question. I have had an appointment set with a new dentist for about a month now because it took time to find an appointment that fits my family’s schedule. It’s two days away and, of course, my nose has started to run, I am coughing a little bit, and really I just don’t feel great. I don’t think it’s much more than a cold, but I stayed home today. I’m trying to decide if I should cancel my appointment over a cold. My last dentist had a 24 hour cancellation window or you were charged a fee. If I’m going to cancel I need to decide today. What should I do?
Sick in Seattle
Should I stay or should I go? That seems to be the question. Right off the bat, there are two things to consider. If you were sick enough to stay home from work or school today, you must not feel well. Secondly, put yourself in the shoes of your dental staff. How would you react to someone coming into your work knowing they were sick and not feeling well?
Cold or the flu?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the flu viruses have “predominated this season” and been widespread. Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish the symptoms of a cold over the symptoms of the flu. The difference can be as small as a fever, chills, or body aches. Whether it is a cold or the flu, neither sickness is fun and both can be easily spread. It can happen through sneezing, coughing, shaking hands, and even just talking. Viruses are also found in your saliva in your mouth. Your dentist or his staff cannot work in your mouth without coming into contact with that virus. Dentist’s are careful to wear gloves, wash their hands, and take protective measures, but any airborne particles from a sneeze, etc. can linger and get not only the dental staff sick, but any other patients who may be visiting the office that day.
If you call your dentist’s office and explain why you are cancelling, especially where this is your first visit, most likely you will not be charged the cancellation fee. Many appreciate that you are not bringing your sickness to their office. If this were to become an ongoing thing, that’s a different story.
This post is sponsored by Dr. Cummiskey at Generations Dental Care in Enfield, CT.