• Premedicating Before a Dental Appointment

  • Many people do not realize that they are supposed to be taking antibiotics before dental work, including cleanings. How do you know if you are one of these people and what steps should you take before you come in?

    How Do I Know If I Need to Premedicate?

    If you have an orthopaedic implant from a previous surgery you will need to premedicate. Ask your surgeon or current doctor if you are unsure if what you have would be considered an implant. An orthopaedic implant usually consists of joint replacement, metal plates or metal rods. Usually the surgeon will go over this need, but we understand that before a surgery you are given a lot of information and it is hard to remember it all.

    People who have had any replacements in their heart will also need to premedicate before coming in. If you have had a history of ineffective endocarditis you will also need to premedicate. Ask your cardiologist if you are unsure if you fall into this category. Your doctor will know what you need to do in order to keep your heart healthy.

    For those who do not fall into these two categories and are still unsure, the safest bet is always to ask your doctor after any surgery or at any appointment if you need to premedicate. According to the ADA the two reasons to premedicate before a cleaning are for artificial joints and ineffective endocarditis.

    What is a Premedication?

                   A premedication is an antibiotic that is taken an hour before a dental procedure. Usually the antibiotic is amoxicillin, but other kinds can be used if there is an allergy.


    How Does the Antibiotic Help?

    During routine cleanings and other dental work bacteria from your mouth is being removed. In many cases people bleed during procedures. The blood can carry the bacteria back to the heart or artificial joint and cause either one to get an infection. This can cause extreme complications.

    Is there Anything Else that can be Done to Help Prevent a Failure?

    At our dental office we offer the options of having the bacteria removed with a laser treatment. This is a Laser Bacterial Reduction or LBR. It costs about $25. This procedure removes bacteria before a dental procedure reducing the chances of infection in other places. We recommend the LBR for any person who may have a need for reducing bacteria in their body. This would include:

    • Pregnancy
    • Diabetes
    • Arthritis
    • Cancer
    • Chemotherapy
    • Chronic Steroid Use
    • Immune compromised

    If you fall into any of these categories you may want to consider having LBR done before each cleaning. Anyone is welcome to having it done. It not only reduces the bacteria, but it keeps the bacteria longer to come back. With a cleaning alone it takes about 3 days for the bacteria to completely recolonize. With LBR it takes the bacteria 3 months for it to completely recolonize.

    If you have any other questions about LBR or premedication feel free to contact our office. 303-457-3046