Do You Need Antibiotics Before Dental Procedures?

You may be preparing for a dental procedure and hear that you will be given antibiotics beforehand, which makes you curious as to why you might need such medicine for a simple dental procedure. Your questions are understandable, especially since health guidelines can change at the drop of a hat. In this case, you can trust your dentist or get a second opinion, but doing a little research of your own is a good idea, as well:

What is Antibiotic Prophylaxis?

Antibiotic prophylaxis is a term that most of us may not be familiar with. What does it mean? Antibiotic prophylaxis is the term used to mean taking an antibiotic prior to an oral procedure. Does this sound strange? It is a little different or unusual. It is almost like expecting an infection will appear. However, consider this.

Bacteria resides in a person’s mouth, and even though brushing and flossing are recommended and should be a priority for everyone, it can often add even more germs. How can this be?

Anything your floss, brush, or hand touches before it enters your mouth will increase the level of bacteria once it reaches your pearly whites.  If you have a strong immune system, then your dentist probably would not suggest such a thing. If your immune system is weakened, you may hear the words come out of your dentist’s mouth.

Who is at Risk?

There are specific groups of people with certain medical conditions that may need to be given antibiotics before any serious dental procedure such as people with health problems such as weakened heart valves, a past heart transplant, or medical history of infection of the lining of the heart. To find out for sure if you need antibiotics before a procedure, talk with your dentist and be sure that they know all of your medical conditions.

It is important that you talk with your dentist and your primary care doctor, or heart specialist, in detail because there is recent evidence that suggests that the risks of taking antibiotics can easily outweigh the benefits. 

Antibiotics Risk

Antibiotics can have adverse side effects. Side effects that have been reported are: nausea, allergic reactions, and difficile infection just to name a few.  It is always best to speak to your dental care provider, and if you have special concerns, he or she can also collaborate with your primary care physician. Additionally, you could face bacteria that is drug-resistant and doesn’t respond to antibiotics, meaning you took the medicine and it ended up not helping.

With any procedure, either medical or dental, there is always risk for infection. Sometimes the risk is higher than others. Dental care, in the past, has offered antibiotics prophylaxis to patients prior to arriving at the office for treatment. However, recent data has shown this is not necessary always the case. Remember with anything involving your health, consulting a professional is always in order. To learn more, contact a company like Blundell Dental with any questions you have.

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