Is It Permissible to Go to a Dentist of the Opposite Gender?

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Question

My mother took me to a doctor of the opposite gender at that time, I didn’t know much about gender interaction, and I got Braces. Now, I know that in the presence of a doctor of the same gender, it is not permissible to go to a doctor of the opposite gender. I told my mother about it, but she seemed to be not listening much to me.

Now considering that I didn’t go to the doctor the first time myself; instead, my mother wanted me to get braces, what should be my approach in this issue as I have to go to get the wire changed and I am dependent on my parents?

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

Generally, it is encouraged to only interact with the opposite gender when there is a need or a clear Islamically recognized, religious or worldly benefit to be had. This is based on the principles of interaction and seclusion with the opposite gender. [Nahlawi; al-Durar al-Mubaha]

When it comes to seeing a doctor of the opposite gender, this encouragement stands and raises to the level of obligation when:

  • there is a reasonable possibility of skin-to-skin contact,
  • being in seclusion with them in a private place without a third party, or
  • when they will need to see an area of the body that is otherwise impermissible to see. [Ibid.]

Opposite Gender Dentist

Regarding visiting a dentist of the opposite gender, there is little fear that the above situations would occur. Dentists wear gloves and limit their actions to the area of the mouth. They are generally accompanied by assistants and use public places. Lastly, they do not need to see any impermissible area of the body.

For this reason, it is permissible for you to continue your appointments, especially if it is at your mother’s insistence.

Hope this helps
Allah knows best

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a teacher of Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he then completed four years at the Darul Uloom seminary in New York where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences. He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he stayed for three years studying in Dar Al-Mustafa under some of the greatest scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib. In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Qur’an and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Qur’anic exegesis, Islamic history, and a number of texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.