Antibiotics are medications used to control bacterial infections. When a patient is to undergo a medical or dental procedure, antibiotics are usually administered to the patient initially to prevent any possible infection from happening. This process is called ‘antibiotics prophylaxis.’
Some years back, people with heart diseases and bone or joint replacement always take antibiotics before undergoing any dental procedure, but today, the reverse is the case.
Most recently, there have been changes in the criteria needed for the prescription of antibiotics prophylaxis. Research has shown that only a very few numbers of patients need antibiotics prophylaxis before undergoing medical or dental procedures.
There are chances that in the future, changes will still be made. Therefore, there are certain things you need to know about taking antibiotics before going for dental procedures.
The Risk of Infection
Before having a dental procedure, people who have one or more of the following heart conditions might be required to take prophylactic antibiotics:
- A heart transplants
- Artificial heart valves
- History of infective endocarditis
- Heart conditions present since birth, especially those that have not been repaired and involves synthetic materials.
Also, those that have undergone joint replacement procedures and have one or more of the following risk factors might be required to take prophylactic antibiotics:
- A non-localized infection, e.g., rheumatoid arthritis, lupus erythematosis, that are inflammatory.
- A feeble immune system caused by HIV, cancer, radiation, chemotherapy and other causes
- Insulin-dependent diabetes or hemophilia
- History of disease in a prosthetic joint
There are situations in the past in which prophylactic antibiotics would be recommended, but it is no longer applicable these days. For instance, in a case where a patient has heart conditions such as pacemakers or other heart diseases, does not translate to requiring prophylactic antibiotics.
Though there are some situations in which recommending prophylactic antibiotics would be wise.
Some antibiotics have adverse effects, and some bacteria are resistant to antibiotics, and this should be a source of concern to the public. Thankfully studies regarding antibiotics are ongoing to provide better health care.