Do I need to pre-medicate for my appointment?
You may have heard that it is recommended to take antibiotics before some dental procedures, referred to as “antibiotic prophylaxis.” This is certainly not appropriate for everyone, so why is it that dentists and healthcare providers recommend pre-medicating for some patients?
Bacteria are present in everyone’s mouth. Some dental treatments, and daily routines like brushing, flossing, and chewing, can allow bacteria to enter the bloodstream. For the majority of people, this is not a problem. If your immune system is healthy, these bacteria are not harmful. For some people, however, these bacteria may lead to infection elsewhere in the body.
Pre-medicating with antibiotics prior to certain treatments is recommended for a small number of people with specific heart conditions. You can refer to the American Heart Association or your primary healthcare provider for guidelines that identify those who should take antibiotics prior to dental care. Likewise, patients with recent joint replacements should be premeditated. The specific guidelines for these patients have recently been updated; we can give you guidance so don't hesitate to ask.
There is no single answer that is appropriate for everyone. There are many health factors that need to be taken into account before making the decision to pre-medicate, and Dr.Dukes can assess your medical history, and consult with your family doctor or surgeon if necessary, to decide what is best for your needs.