Posted .

Have you undergone a joint replacement procedure recently? If so, you need to approach your dental work differently than in the past. It might seem odd that a joint replacement could influence a dental procedure, but it’s true.

Many joint replacement patients need to take antibiotics before undergoing tooth extractions, root canals, and other dental procedures. This is a process called antibiotic prophylaxis. If you have any type of joint replacement, you should be aware of the following information before your next dental appointment.

What is Antibiotic Prophylaxis?

Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections. They kill dangerous bacteria to protect the body and make it less vulnerable to additional infection. You are most familiar with antibiotics as treatment for illness, but dentists also recommend antibiotics before dental treatments to prevent illness. This is called antibiotic prophylaxis.

Why Is Antibiotic Prophylaxis Needed to Protect Joint Replacement Patients?

Some dental treatments cause bacteria from the mouth to enter the bloodstream. This is especially dangerous to joint replacement patients who are already at higher risk of infection from their procedures. They need the added protection of an antibiotic prophylaxis to prevent the spread of infection.

Do You Need Antibiotic Prophylaxis?

The ADA recently found that not all joint replacement patients automatically require antibiotic prophylaxis, but those at higher risk of infection should still take antibiotics before dental procedures. Antibiotic prophylaxis can help you if you have any of the following:

  • An artificial heart valve
  • A history of IE
  • A heart transplant that develops a valve problem
  • A chronic condition like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, or cancer

Get Your Dentist’s Advice

Only your doctor and dentist can determine if antibiotic prophylaxis is the best decision for your health. Based on your health background, current health conditions, and specific dental procedure needed, Dr. Yamaguchi at 19th Avenue Dental in Everett, Washington can advise you on the need for antibiotics before your upcoming treatment. Call (425) 385-8130 now to make your appointment.