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To Pre-Medicate Or Not To Pre-Medicate… THAT Is The Question!

Published on October 14, 2014 by

PreMedication In DentistryWho needs to pre-medicate prior to dental work or dental cleanings? It is advised for patients that:

1. Have an artificial heart valve
2. Have a history of infection of the lining of the heart
3. Have had a heart transplant
4. Were born with a birth defect in the heart (congenital heart disease)
5. Have had orthopedic implants in the joints (this used to be recommended but, as of 2012, the ADA and American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons updated that recommendation and it is no longer recommended for patients with artificial joints).

The guidelines are re-evaluated every few years to make sure that they are based on the best scientific evidence. Your physician will have to confirm either way based on your history. These are general guidelines and some exceptions still require pre-medication.

Why was it recommended in the first place? Doctors recommend that a patient take antibiotics before certain dental procedures because we have bacteria in our mouth; cleanings as well as dental procedures allow bad bacteria to be released and enter your bloodstream. When in good health, it does not cause any harm – but in patients with compromised immune systems or conditions I listed above, it can lead to concerns and infection in other parts of the body. This is called “antibiotic prophylaxis” when it is recommended and prescribed by your physician. Always talk to your physician, nurse, or people handling and overlooking your health!


Filed under: Dental Education, Dental Hygiene, Fear Of The Dentist, Holistic Dentistry
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