You may no longer need to take antibiotics before your dental appointments! Every few years the American Dental Association reevaluates their recommendation regarding the need for “prophylactic antibiotics” prior to dental treatment. The theory had been that, since there is bacteria present even in healthy mouths, dental procedures that result in bleeding could seed bacteria in the bloodstream. Surgeons worried this bacteria could find its way to artificial joints and cause an infection. They recommended taking antibiotics prior to dental treatment to prevent this potential infection. However, based on an extensive review of the scientific literature, the newest advisory from the ADA is that dental treatment is NOT a risk factor for joint infection. Further, they have determined the risk of developing an allergic reaction or drug resistant infections increased with unnecessary use of antibiotics. Therefore, the ADA recommends that most patients with artificial joints do not take ant This new protocol was released at the beginning of 2015, and replaces all previous recommendation. There are still some specific instances where we will still recommend antibiotics, and we will certainly defer to your surgeon’s preference. We suggest that you speak with your physicians and ask if they still recommend antibiotic despite the new ADA guidelines. If you would like to read the full recommendation, you can find it here.
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