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Author Topic: Disclosure To Long Term Family Dentist  (Read 2961 times)

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Offline joyluckclub

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  • Posts: 136
Disclosure To Long Term Family Dentist
« on: May 31, 2007, 11:04:25 PM »
Forum Members,

I am not sure what to do in the following situation.  I have a dentist that I have used for over 20 years.  I am 32.  They do great work.  I would like to disclose to them that I am HIV+.   My reasons for disclosure are (1) my general health (2) universal health precautions dental technicians and dentist should take.  I just feel I owe it to them to make them aware.

Moreover, after a year, I still am dealing with feelings of shame, disgust, and loneliness.  I am in therapy and go to a weekly support group.

What do yo guys think?
"Honey, be who you is"  Madea.........

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Disclosure To Long Term Family Dentist
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2007, 11:06:57 PM »
Hey Joy,

Well your dentist and allied health types should be using universal cross infection procedures irrespective of knowing your status. It's basic clinical standard.

As for telling them, I would. I had a LOT of dental work done over the last few years and there were a number of times I had to provide CD4 counts and other information so that I could receive the most appropriate treatment. Also it allowed my dentists to check for some specific HIV mouth things.


Offline Life

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  • Member 2005
Re: Disclosure To Long Term Family Dentist
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2007, 11:10:07 PM »
Tell em....  There is alot of gadgets in there that need to be tended to more so with hiv in the mix.   They will know what to look out for down the road.   Same with my doc... 20 plus years....  "Eric - you think your the only one don't cha?" quote-th the doc...  I said "Well yeah"....  He Said "Not by a long shot!"   I live in a town of 8,000.   They are professionals and they care and they certainly care for you.....   Tell em...


Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Disclosure To Long Term Family Dentist
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2007, 11:23:55 PM »
Unfortunately I'm going to have to agree with what MtD just stated.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline DanielMark

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Re: Disclosure To Long Term Family Dentist
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2007, 06:22:55 AM »
Ironically (or not) I'll be back in the dentist's chair in less than three hours this morning. Eeak!

Matty gave you good information. This is 2007. ALL dentists ought to be using universal care procedures with ALL patients. Nonetheless, I disclosed my status for the same reasons Matty mentioned.




Offline Angel-Ronnie

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Re: Disclosure To Long Term Family Dentist
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2007, 06:30:47 AM »
I have to agree with Matty and DaniŽl,

When I went to my dentist I disclosed to him and much to say we feel comfortable by me doing so and I must say he treats me the same way as before and he knows now that extra precautions have to be taken.

Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it - Charles Swindoll
2012-04-23 CD4=847 VL=125 CD4%=29
06-02-2013 CD4=990 VL=<20 CD4%=28
05-07-2013 CD4=869 VL=<20 CD4%=30
05-12-2013 CD4=859 VL=262 CD4%=28
03-05-2014 CD4=743 VL=<20 CD4%=28
30-09-2014 CD4=291 VL=33 CD4% =30
24-02-2015 CD4 1065 VL=1814 CD4%=30
22-07-2015 CD4=974 VL=<20 CD4%=32
19-01-2016 CD4=940 VL=<30 CD4%=33

Offline JohnOso

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Re: Disclosure To Long Term Family Dentist
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2007, 07:50:07 AM »
I told my dentist and he gave me a 7-day course of clindamycin after finishing the work,  based on the info.

He told me that it's a good thing I said something to him.

They should not do anything different just because you're HIV poz.....universal precautions are just that....universal.

(maybe if you asked to talk to him privately before the procedure, it would put you at ease?)


Offline Peter6836

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Re: Disclosure To Long Term Family Dentist
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2007, 08:33:40 AM »
I had dental work done shortly after a battle with an OI, and my diagnosis. I also went to my family dentist, who cared for all of my children as they grew up and my X wife. I disclosed, and am glad I did. My dentist was caring and understanding. He was the health professional I always knew him to be. It is affirming to work with people that are true professionals. I say disclose for your own health and saftey, be your own best advocate.

Offline Central79

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Re: Disclosure To Long Term Family Dentist
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2007, 09:17:27 AM »

I think dentists in 2007 are pretty up on HIV, and don't discriminate. In the UK, if they refuse to treat you on the basis of your HIV status you can report them to the general dental council and they get struck off. I'm sure similar standards exist in most countries.

From the disclosure point of view - it shouldn't matter. Unless he's planning on ramming a needle into you and then through his gloves and into him, there's no problem.

So disclosure should be about what you will get from it. As several people have pointed out, HIV can cause certain oral problems, and the oral health is often a reflection of other things going on elsewhere in the body. By letting your dentist know about this stuff, he will be in a better position to give you the care you need.

The other thing I wanted to pick up on are the feelings of "shame, disgust and loneliness" you mentioned. You are not alone. These are feelings I am working through as well (18 months diagnosed), and that will take time to resolve. It sounds like you are doing all the right stuff, and being proactive about your health, which is often an area that takes a knock when you are being hard on yourself.

All the best,

Diagnosed January 2006
26/1/06 - 860 (22%), VL > 500,000
24/4/06 - 820 (24.6%), VL 158,000
13/7/06 - 840 (22%), VL 268,000
1/11/06 - 680 (21%), VL 93,100
29/1/07 - 1,020 (27.5%), VL 46,500
15/5/07 - 1,140 (22.8%), VL not done.
13/10/07 - 759 (23.2%), VL 170,000
6/11/07 - 630 (25%), VL 19,324
14/1/08 - 650 (21%), VL 16,192
15/4/08 - 590 (21%), VL 40, 832

Offline milker

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Re: Disclosure To Long Term Family Dentist
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2007, 09:26:54 AM »
I disclosed to my dentist, but given the questions he asked me, he didn't seem to be very up to date about HIV.. In any case I felt that he was a care giver that needed to know my status just in case.

mid-dec: stupid ass
mid-jan: seroconversion
mid-feb: poz
mar 07: cd4 432 (35%) vl 54000
may 07: cd4 399 (28%) vl 27760
jul 07: cd4 403 (26%) vl 99241
oct 07: cd4 353 (24%) vl 29993
jan 08: cd4 332 (26%) vl 33308
mar 08: cd4 392 (23%) vl 75548
jun 08: cd4 325 (27%) vl 45880
oct 08: cd4 197 (20%) vl 154000 <== aids diagnosis
nov 2 08 start Atripla
nov 30 08: cd4 478 (23%) vl 1880 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
feb 19 09: cd4 398 (24%) vl 430 getting there!
apr 23 09: cd4 604 (29%) vl 50 woohoo :D :D
jul 30 09: cd4 512 (29%) vl undetectable :D :D
may 27 10: cd4 655 (32%) vl undetectable :D :D

Now accepting applications from blowjob ninjasô

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Disclosure To Long Term Family Dentist
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2007, 10:37:12 AM »
I think the issue here with joyluck is not the disclosure itself in an abstract sense, but the fact that it's a long-term "family" dentist.  I'm assuming that, in this context, perhaps he's more concerned with "family" finding out or others where he lives or something -- is that the case joyluck?  Of course, one would assume that a dentist would adhere to professional ethics and keep this information confidential, but then again one must also consider that the information will be recorded in a file accessed by the lowly staff members.  Joyluck lives in Texas, and I don't know if it's a large city or a small town.  I can understand the concern if one was not out to their family and friends, and perhaps to mitigate any sense of discomfort you may have you could consider beginning anew with an entirely different dentist.

Just an idea.  I do think it's important for you OWN treatment that the dentist be aware that you are immune compromised.  I'm less concerned with the safety of the dentist, not because I'm an asshole but because they all use methods every day under the assumption that every patient has HIV or some other communicable disease, and have done so for decades now.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline joyluckclub

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Re: Disclosure To Long Term Family Dentist
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2007, 05:10:42 PM »
Hi Philly267,

I does concern me that he is my family dentist.  Actually, this dentist, Dr. Maxey, bought out my old dentist about 5 years ago.  I've been happy with him since then.  My family (brother, dad, stepmom) do go to the same dentist.  I live in a suburb of Dallas.....i.e......pretty conservative.  I thought I might write him a letter.  Though it is a bit impersonal, I just don't have the courage to say it out loud.  I do want him to know, though. 
"Honey, be who you is"  Madea.........

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Disclosure To Long Term Family Dentist
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2007, 06:06:09 PM »
Well, if you write a letter please keep in mind that someone in the front office probably opens his mail, possibly even if you were to label the outside of the envelope as "personal."  If you don't want to change to another dentist assuming that would attract attention with your family, I'd advise just asking him to have a private conversation in the absence of any of the hygienist, etc.  Of course, he may end up telling the hygienist himself for their benefit.

Your call though... just making suggestions to minimize how many in the office know for you :)  Best of luck.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline SoSadTooBad

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Re: Disclosure To Long Term Family Dentist
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2007, 06:14:01 PM »
joy - my dentist was the first person I told, medically speaking.  he seemed a bit shocked, given that he has a pretty conservative clientele and I had been with him for many years.  since I told him, he and the whole office treats me the same, and they genuinely act interested in how I am doing, so I am glad I told them.  my advice - tell them - like others have said, you are far from the only one, and they can give you better care if they know.  best of luck

Offline planonstaying

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  • Hiv is the FOX,tcells the rabbit, CALL the HOUNDS!
Re: Disclosure To Long Term Family Dentist
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2007, 06:08:59 PM »
I started seeing my current dentist last summer when I had  a tooth abcessed. It was the most painful experience of my life. On a wed after hearing no from 8 DR's  mine took emergency new patient. I know he didnt need the work, office  was crowded they tried drilling out cavity , medicinal filling, antibiotics and  scheduled a follow up to evaluate for root canal in 2 weeks. By fri infection was so bad it flesh on the roof of my mouth was being seperated from palette by pressure and I had a fever.  They were closed Friday. Someone met me at office, drilled it to drain/remove  pressure/pus, gave me pain meds, different  antibiotics and scheduled  me for emergency root canal monday.  I was neg then..shit happens

Now I am pos, they use universal precautions, I know I don't have to tell him and feel morally wrong not disclosing  but, am terrified I might loose fantastic provider or  experience  a different level of care so didnt when I saw him. I figuire i will either drop him a note or ask to speak to him before next cleaning or just ask my DR  for the name of Dentist who has a lot of experience treating hiv patients
If someone tells you  potential consequences of a behavior  it  doesn't  mean they jude you or mit    they may just give a shit about you

Offline joyluckclub

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Re: Disclosure To Long Term Family Dentist
« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2007, 08:33:50 PM »

Thanks for sharing.  Your comments are helping me decide what to do..
"Honey, be who you is"  Madea.........


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