If you have a dental visit coming up, there are a few scenarios that may lead to you having to take an antibiotic ahead of time. If you have had a knee replacement or other joint replacement surgery, antibiotic premedication can drastically reduce the chances of developing severe side effects. Those who have heart conditions also benefit from antibiotic prophylaxis.
What Does Oral Health Have to do With Joints?
The mouth serves as an entryway to the rest of the body. When it comes to things like getting nutrients into your system, it’s great. However, the mouth also serves as a breeding ground for bacteria, which is why oral hygiene is so vital to overall health. The chances of developing an infection in the mouth drastically increase during dental procedures. Because the mouth is so good at extracting nutrients and other substances, those infections can quickly spread to the rest of the body.
Those who have had joint replacement surgeries are particularly vulnerable when it comes to infection. Replaced joints run a risk of becoming a breeding ground for bacteria when an infection develops in the mouth. When this happens, the replacement joints can become damaged AND IN SOME INSTANCES MAY require more surgery to repair. This is why just about any dentist in Schenectady, NY that you cross paths with will prescribe antibiotics before an oral procedure if you’ve previously had this kind of work done. *****90% of the time it’s the patient’s surgeon who prescribes the premedication
Heart Conditions and Antibiotics
People who suffer from heart conditions, like a murmur or mitral valve prolapse, run a higher risk of developing infective endocarditis during dental procedures. The same is true for those who have pacemakers. If endocarditis develops, severe irreversible damage to the heart can occur. The reasoning for this is the same as what was mentioned above when discussing joint replacements. However, when it comes to matters of the heart, it is even more critical that people take the need to pre-medicate seriously.
An infection that spreads from the mouth to the heart can be deadly, especially for those who already have heart problems. That is why it is imperative that you are honest with your dentist about any heart conditions that you may have, even if at first glance heart health and oral health may seem unrelated.
Things to Keep in Mind
It is our standard of care to consult with patients before their appointments to determine if antibiotic premedication is needed. If it is determined that you need medication, you will need to make sure that you’ve had your surgeon or cardiologist state the procedures you have had done and send to your dentist in writing the premedication being prescribed, and for how long in writing. This is a precautionary step that is taken to ensure that antibiotics should be given.
Typically, patients who need antibiotic premedication are prescribed amoxicillin to be taken an hour before their appointment. If a patient has an allergy to amoxicillin, they may be prescribed clindamycin instead. However, medications may vary depending on the dentist or oral surgeon that is in charge of your procedure.
Be Sure to Inform your Dentist of Any Pre Existing Conditions
Whatever the case, please inform our dental staff of any conditions or surgeries that may require antibiotic premedication. If you have any questions surrounding whether premedication is needed, don’t hesitate to contact our dental office with any specific questions.