Upon reviewing the health history that we have you fill out for us when you first visit our office, Dr. McArdle may decide that you are a candidate for premedication with antibiotics when undergoing invasive dental treatment due to your medical status. Invasive treatment is described as a procedure that will breach your hard or soft tissues and cause bleeding. Conditions that may require you to be premedicated for such dental procedures most commonly include congenital heart defects and prosthetic devices such a joint replacements or artificial heart valves as well as a previous history of infection at these sites.
The reason invasive procedures are of concern for you should you have any of these conditions, relates to the bleeding that may be involved. If you still have any of your natural teeth, you have a wide variety and vast number of bacteria in your mouth. When any bleeding occurs in your mouth, the potential for these bacteria to enter your bloodstream exists. On entering your circulation, oral bacteria have a tendency to settle in areas such as any defects that may be present in your heart valves and any prosthetic joint or heart valve replacements you may have. The resulting infections can cause loss of your replaced joint or severe illness in the case of a coronary episode that under extreme circumstances may lead to death.
Defects in a human heart valve can
attract life-threatening bacterial infection.
The need for premedication in these instances is also dependent on the degree and timing of the situation involved. Often times joint replacements that were performed more than two years ago, especially when you have had no history of complications pertaining to them, can go without premedication. Even in that case, if your immune system is compromised and you have other conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, insulin dependent diabetes, systemic lupus or hemophilia, you may still be a candidate for antibiotic premedication. Of course, only your personal physician can make the determination as to whether or not you need to be premedicated in these situations and his or her decision is the final say in such matters. If you have a history of heart valve problems or joint replacement, Dr. McArdle will only proceed with invasive dental treatment without premedication upon receiving a written waiver from your physician.
If you do need premedication, Dr. McArdle will give you a prescription for the antibiotics appropriate to your needs. If you are allergic to amoxicillin, the first choice for premedication in most cases, effective alternatives are available. If you have any questions about the need for premedication or the antibiotic choices available to you, please ask, Dr. McArdle.
THE CONDITIONS THAT REQUIRE PREMEDICATION ARE A SERIOUS MATTER. DR. MCARDLE ONLY HAS YOUR BEST INTERESTS IN MIND WHEN HE DETERMINES YOU ARE A CANDIDATE FOR PREMEDICATION.