Do I Need Prophylactic Antibiotics?

Do I Need Prophylactic Antibiotics?

Posted by Covington Dentistry on Mar 15 2017, 12:48 PM

Prophylactic antibiotics are antibiotics that are taken before surgery or dental treatment to prevent bacterial infection. There are certain cases where your risk of infection is quite high. During such times, the doctor gives you antibiotics ahead of time to resist the infection.

The benefit of having prophylactic antibiotics is that it decreases the risk of developing life-threatening infections. It is also helpful to stop a chronic or intermittent infection from coming back.

Who Needs a Prophylactic Antibiotic? 

Prophylactic antibiotics are used on people who have high threat factors for bacterial illness during surgery. There is an increased risk of developing infective endocarditis in people with certain heart conditions. Such people are given prophylactic antibiotics to protect against the disease or to limit its effect. 

People with an artificial heart valve or who got it replaced with prosthetic material are also given antibiotic prophylaxis. Other patients with heart conditions such as heart transplant, unrepaired cyanotic congenital heart disease, repaired congenital heart defects need to take antibiotics before the dental visit. 

Antibiotic prophylaxis is also appropriate for those patients having dental cleanings, root canal, extractions, deep scaling, and other treatments where the risk of bacteria entering the bloodstream is quite high.  

Prophylactic antibiotics are also given before surgeries including head or neck cancer surgery, neurosurgery, organ transplants, or some orthopedic surgeries.

The most common treatment to pre-medicate with antibiotics is one dose of amoxicillin. It should be taken one hour before the appointment. Clindamycin is often used for patients with allergies to amoxicillin. 

Why Is It Not Used on Every Patient?

Prophylactic antibiotics are not recommended for everyone as they should only be used when the potential benefit outweighs the risks of taking them. The immune systems of most patients are strong enough to fight any bacteria entering the bloodstream. It is not suggested for patients who have had a hip, knee, or other joint replaced.

There are also certain reasons for not using prophylactic antibiotics for every patient. The side effects include an upset stomach, diarrhea, and the possibility of life-threatening allergic reactions. If you are healthy but have a severe tooth or gum infection, your dentist would prescribe the use of antibiotics to kill some of the bacteria presents. 

Covington Signature Dentistry provides comprehensive dental treatments for all your dental problems. Head over to 27121 174th Place SE #202, Covington, WA 98042, United States. Contact us at (+1) 253-638-9955 or visit our website to book an appointment with us.

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