Antibiotics Before Dental Procedures?

The Guidelines Have Changed

If in the past your doctor has prescribed antibiotics before you had dental work, don’t assume that your future holds more such meds. The guidelines have changed—check with your family doctor or cardiologist to learn if premedication is still necessary for you.

For years the American Heart Association (AHA) recommended an antibiotic regime before dentistry for certain heart patients. The AHA rewrote its guidelines, and the American Dental Association adopted them, to reflect growing evidence that for most patients the risks of taking preventive antibiotics may outweigh the benefits.

Equally important, researchers failed to find that taking antibiotics before dentistry prevents infectious endocarditis (IE) in patients at risk of heart infection. AHA guidelines say that maintaining optimal oral health and practicing daily oral hygiene are more important in reducing the risk of infectious endocarditis than taking preventive antibiotics before a dental visit.

Preventive Antibiotics Are Still Advised For Patients With:

  • Artificial heart valves or repairs
  • A history of infectious endocarditis
  • Certain specific congenital (present from birth) heart conditions
  • A cardiac transplant that develops a problem in a heart valve

We’re here to help you do just that. Don’t skip your checkups.

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