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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The provision of dental care for patients with natural rubber latex allergy: are patients able to obtain safe care?

BACKGROUND: The number of people with allergy to natural rubber latex (NRL) has increased significantly in recent years. AIM: To assess the experiences of latex-allergic patients in accessing appropriate dental care, and also the willingness and ability of general dental practitioners to provide care for these patients. METHOD: Two self completing postal questionnaires, one to patients and one to general dental practitioners. RESULTS: The majority of latex-allergic patients are able to obtain dental treatment. Some do experience adverse reactions, which may be severe, in spite of precautions being taken. Although many general dental practitioners are willing to accept such patients for treatment, few appear to be fully aware of all the necessary precautions required. Most do not have policies for the management of sensitised patients and staff, and a number are still using powdered natural rubber latex gloves in spite of the risk to patients and staff. CONCLUSION: Latex-allergic patients can usually obtain safe treatment in general dental practice, but more education of dentists about the risks associated with natural rubber latex is required. Information about the latex content of equipment would be advantageous.[1]


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