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Patient Education

Heart Patients and Dental Care

Do I need to take an antibiotic before my dental appointment?

Patients who have had rheumatic fever, heart murmur, heart valve replacement or orthopedic joint replacement are at risk for a condition called infectious endocarditis. The American Dental Association recommends these patients take a “pre-med” prior to dental work.

Here’s why: Bacteria which normally inhabit a mouth can get into your bloodstream during the simplest dental procedure. When that bacteria travels to the heart it might affect the heart or joints. Pre-medication works to destroy the bacteria before this can happen.

In response to new findings in treatment of heart disease, the American Heart Association revises prescription recommendations from time to time. Sometimes the dosages you’ll be asked to take will change.

If your medical doctor mentions anything about your heart at an exam, ask, “Does my condition require me to take antibiotics prior to dental work?” If the answer is yes, please let us know in advance of your next dental appointment—that way, we won’t have to delay needed treatment.

Take it to Heart
We want to prevent the risk of your exposure to infectious bacterial endocarditis, an infection of the heart muscle or heart lining.

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