Doctors's Notes - Monokian Dentistry

Doctors’s Notes

Taking Antibiotics Before Dental Visits?

Here’s Something You Should Know

by Dr. Jason Slomovitz, Monokian Dentistry

 

As part of our ongoing commitment to providing uncompromising dental care and protecting our patients’ health, we monitor and adjust to changes that are constantly place in healthcare.  One thing we’ve noticed is the significant number of patients who’ve been advised to take antibiotics before dental procedures.

Prior to dental surgery, doctors often prescribe antibiotics to patients with weakened immune systems to lessen the chance of infection. That practice - known as antibiotic prophylaxis - has been around for decades.  However, in recent years the guidelines for prescribing preventive antibiotics have evolved; they are recommended in fewer situations than they used to be.

prescription check

Many of our patients who’ve had joint replacements believe that they must pre-medicate before every dental visit.  However, based on the updated guidance published in 2015 by the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Heart Association, there remain only three situations that call for antibiotic prophylaxis:

  • The patient has a history of bacterial endocarditis
  • The patient has an artificial heart valve.
  • The patient's surgeon recommends and subsequently prescribes premedication

Additional details of these guidelines can be found on ADA’s website. If you’ve been taking antibiotics before every dental visit, you may want to check with your doctor to see if it is still necessary.  If it is, please obtain a letter from them to that effect and bring it to your next appointment; having it on file will allow us to serve you better in the future.

If you have any questions or concerns about antibiotic prophylaxis, any member of our team will be happy to help you.