“Do I need to take antibiotics before I see my dentist if I have had a joint replacement done?”
This is a very common and confusing question for patients of our office who have had joint replacement surgery, either for their knee or their hip. The problem is the guidelines keep changing. That is why the dentists at Kelowna Family Dental stay up to date with the recommendations on antibiotics for dental patients with joint replacements.
Our society is plagued with many antibiotic resistant infections which is causing alarm in the medical community. And rightly so. We all want medications to work when we need them to. This has caused a movement to try to limit the unnecessary use of antibiotics. In considering this, the Canadian Dental Association, the Canadian Orthopedic Association and the Association of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Disease Canada have released new recommendations for antibiotics for dental patients with joint replacements based on the most up-to-date scientific research. These new recommendations are guidelines only and our dentists will defer to your medical doctor or surgeon for their professional opinion.
Simply put though, unless your surgeon or medical doctor has recommended that you take antibiotics for dental procedures following your hip or knee replacement surgery, we do not recommend you taking them. If your surgeon wants you to take them, then our dentists can write you a prescription for the antibiotics so you can take them before arriving for your dental procedure. If he or she has recommended antibiotics, then they are trying to protect your artificial joint from infection and we want to support you and them in doing the same.
If you have had a hip or knee replacement surgery, please talk to one of our dentists or your surgeon to find out if you still need to be taking these antibiotics or not.
Dentists recommend that patients undergoing total joint replacement or those who have already had their hip or knee replaced maintain optimal oral health. Daily brushing and flossing as well as regular hygiene appointments will help decrease the number of bacteria in your mouth that may affect not just the health of your teeth and gums, but also your whole body. The healthier your mouth is, the healthier your whole body will be. By lowering the number of bacteria in your mouth, you can lower the risk of bacteria infecting your new joint replacement. Ask our dentists or hygienists what you can do to improve your oral health at your next visit.