Dental Antibiotic Prophylaxis

Antibiotics prophylaxis is when you must take a dose of antibiotics prior to an appointment, in our case any dental appointment. There are two major groups of patients that may need to take this precaution.

  • Those that have prosthetic joints and that may be at risk of developing infections at the site of the prosthesis
    • In 2014, guidelines were changed to where not everyone with a prosthetic joint needs antibiotics prior to a dental appointment. All patients with joint replacements should consult with your orthopedic surgeon to see if you must continue to take antibiotics before a dental appointment.
  • Those with certain heart conditions to prevent infective endocarditis.
    • those who have had prosthetic cardiac valve or prosthetic material used for cardiac valve repair
    • a history of infective endocarditis
    • a cardiac transplant
    • patients with congenital (present from birth) heart disease:
      • an unrepaired cyanotic congenital heart disease, including palliative shunts and conduits
      • a completely repaired congenital heart defect with prosthetic material or device, for 6 months after the procedure
      • any repaired congenital heart defect with residual defect at the site or adjacent to the site of a prosthetic patch or a prosthetic device

Of course there are always exceptions to the rule. If there is a question as to whether you need antibiotic coverage prior to a dental appointment, please feel free to call the office before any appointment. All of this information can be found on the ADA’s website,