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Just In Case: Antibiotic Use Before A Dental Procedure

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Some people are advised to begin a regimen of antibiotics when a dental procedure is planned. Read on to find out how taking antibiotics can help certain people and more. 

What to Know About Antibiotic Use and Dental Procedures

Antibiotic prophylaxis is the use of antibiotics to prevent an infection from occurring before a dental procedure. It is typically used in patients who are at a higher risk of developing an infection due to certain medical conditions or procedures. Here are some important things to know about antibiotic prophylaxis prior to dental procedures:

Who needs antibiotic prophylaxis?

Antibiotic prophylaxis is typically recommended for patients with certain heart conditions, joint replacements, or other medical conditions that put them at a higher risk of developing an infection. For example, people with joint replacements may develop an infection of the implant, which will cause it to fail. Others who benefit from antibiotics before a procedure include those with weakened immune systems from chemotherapy or because of other medical conditions. 

Types of antibiotics used

The antibiotics used for prophylaxis vary depending on the patient's medical history and the type of procedure being performed. Some common antibiotics used for prophylaxis include amoxicillin, clindamycin, and azithromycin.

Timing of antibiotic administration

The antibiotics are typically taken prior to the dental procedure. For most patients, a single dose is given about an hour before the procedure begins. However, some dentists direct patients to begin taking the medication several days prior to the procedure.

Potential risks and side effects

Like all medications, antibiotics can have potential risks and side effects, such as allergic reactions, gastrointestinal upset, and the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. It is important to discuss these risks with your dentist or physician before taking antibiotics. In most cases, the risk of taking antibiotics is less than that of the danger of developing a serious injection. 

Regular dental care is still important

Antibiotic prophylaxis is not a substitute for regular dental care, including brushing, flossing, and regular dental check-ups. These measures are important for preventing dental infections and maintaining good oral health.

It is important to discuss antibiotic prophylaxis with your dentist or physician if you have a medical condition that may put you at a higher risk of developing an infection after a dental procedure. They can help determine if antibiotic prophylaxis is necessary and which type of antibiotics are appropriate for your individual needs.

Contact a company like Total Dentistry to learn more.