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Disclose to dentist?

Aug 31, 2006

I recently went to a dentist for cleaning. On their health form, they wanted to know medical history, some of the conditions in the checklist included HIV/AIDS, venereal diseases, hepatitis, ulcers, etc. I left that blank, because I felt that was intrusive and unecessary for him to know. Was there any reason I needed to disclose to the dentist?

The way I see it, it is extremely unlikely that I would be of any risk to him. I could tell they were following the necessary universal precautions, I do not have bleeding gums or undergoing anything that would have any remote likelyhood of them accidently splashing anything anyhow. Was I right in doing so? Is there any law against me keeping it a secret?


Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Maya,

The reason I would suggest disclosing your status to your dentist is that knowing you are HIV positive, he/she may examine the oral cavity more closely to make sure there are not HIV-related problems.

Regarding safety, "universal precautions" are in place for all healthcare offices. These procedures protect both the healthcare worker and the patient. It's worth noting that 25% of the estimated 1,000,000 Americans who are HIV positive have absolutely no idea they have contracted the virus. Consequently it behooves all healthcare workers to strictly adhere to universal precautions for all patients.

Dr. Bob

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