Patient Education » Oral Health

Antibiotic Premedication

Our bodies are home to bacteria which are common in our mouths, but which can be dangerous elsewhere. For some people, especially those who have chronic medical conditions, specific cardiac conditions, or whose immune systems are compromised, bacteria that spreads throughout the bloodstream and into the heart can lead to a serious bacterial infection called infective endocarditis.

Generally, premedication is advised if you have one of these risk factors:

  • A history of infective endocarditis
  • Certain congenital heart conditions (heart conditions present since birth)
  • An artificial heart valve
  • A heart transplant

The American Association of Endodontists extends recommendations to patients who have undergone joint replacement surgery within the past two years, suffer from Type I diabetes, or have immune deficiencies from diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or HIV; cancer patients whose immune systems are suppressed because of radiation or chemotherapy; people who have had organ transplants; and people with hemophilia.

For these patients, any dental procedure may cause bleeding, and prophylactic antibiotic administration is recommended as a preventive measure.

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