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Dental Antibiotics

Preventive Antibiotics and Your Dental Treatment

Why would my dentist want me to take antibiotics prior to treatment?

The answer is simple: Your dentist is taking measures to counteract the effects of bacteria that enter your bloodstream during and after a dental procedure. Certain bacteria from the mouth can affect the heart causing a condition known as sub-acute bacterial endocarditis (SBE), a serious inflammation of diseased heart valves or tissue.

If you have certain heart conditions or have recently had a joint replaced, it is imperative that you follow your dentist's instructions about antibiotic prophylaxis prior to undergoing a dental procedure.

If any of the following applies to you, inform your dentist (on your medical history form), so he or she can take appropriate precautionary measures before starting a dental procedure:
  • Heart surgery within the past six months

  • Pacemaker

  • Vascular surgery (replaced artery) within past six months

  • Artificial heart valve

  • History of rheumatic fever

  • History of heart murmur or mitral valve prolapse

  • Previous bacterial endocarditis

  • Systemic pulmonary shunt

  • Congenital heart defect

  • Acquired valvular dysfunction
Other conditions or a specific kind of dental procedure may warrant additional measures as well, so it is imperative that you discuss your medical history with your dentist.

If you believe you will soon need a dental procedure done, you may want to think about some kind of dental plan benefits to help reduce your costs. Dental discount plans or dental insurance may be options to consider if you are looking for affordable dental care. A dental discount plan is not insurance. Make sure to check the plan benefits to see what savings you could receive on the type of dental procedure you may require. It's also important to check on any waiting period or limitations on pre-existing conditions before you purchase a plan.


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