Who Benefits Most from Antibiotics?
Antibiotic prophylaxis in dentistry is a very common and important preventive procedure in the dental office. Especially prior to extensive or complex procedures, many dentists recommend that you are protected by antibiotics in case bacteremia happens.
Bacteremia is the presence of bacteria in the bloodstream, potentially dangerous in a weakened immune system or for a body tissue or organ that is already compromised. Working inside the mouth, one of the dirtiest places in the body, your dentist can unwittingly initiate the spread of infection via a dental treatment, as simple as cleaning, extraction, root canal or implantation, to the rest of the body. For a majority of people, this doesn’t seem problematic.
Healthy immune systems can fight off the spread easily, leaving the patient looking no less for wear.
But a special group of patients need extra consideration. Antibiotic prophylaxis is recommended by the American Heart Association for people who have specific heart conditions. They should take antibiotics prior to dental treatment. These people are those who have artificial heart valves or who have had a heart transplant in which a problem develops with one of the valves.
Antibiotics are also a must in those who have a history of infection of the lining of the heart or heart valves known as infective endocarditis, an uncommon but life-threatening infection. Also, there are heart conditions present from birth that will need protection during dental care, like unrepaired cyanotic congenital heart disease, first 6 months repaired heart defects using prosthetic material, or those with residual defects at the site or near the site of repair that used a prosthetic material.
So, for patients with these underlying cardiac conditions, prophylaxis is recommended for all dental procedures especially those that involve manipulation of gingival tissue or the root region of teeth or perforation of the oral mucosa. This is so because of the richness of blood supply at these areas.
Protection for Special Groups at Bellingham
We at Dr. Tetrick’s, your family dentists in Bellingham, take into consideration the needs of special groups of patients where antibiotic cover is concerned. Talk to us about your dental issues and tell us, too, if you have existing heart conditions. Have a positive experience at Dr. Tetrick’s; we use antibiotic prophylaxis where and when needed.