Antibiotics have traditionally been prescribed before procedures to reduce the risk of an infection affecting the important recovery process. However, new research from Delta Dental and the American Heart Association has shown that this is often not necessary for heart conditions. In fact, for many patients, the risks of antibiotic overuse to heart health can actually outweigh the potential benefits. Your oral surgeon in Marietta OH heeds this advice and prescribes preventive antibiotics only as necessary for those at greatest risk of having an adverse health effect without them.
About the New Guidelines
Out of the research, which was published in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation, comes the news that only patients who are at the highest risk of developing the serious condition infective endocarditis (IE) need to take preventive antibiotics before an oral procedure. This is an infection which affects the thin inner lining of the heart and its valves; it occurs when bacteria enters the bloodstream and travels to the heart. Because the gums provide a quick entryway into the blood, dental procedures may pose a particular risk for this type of infection.
This research adds to a growing body which suggests that overuse of antibiotics in general poses a significant threat — with side effects like adverse reactions to the antibiotics and also the proliferation of drug-resistant bacteria. By controlling the distribution of antibiotics to those cases in which they are absolutely needed, medical professionals can help to reduce these effects.
When Antibiotics Are Still Necessary
Of course, this research from the American Heart Association does point out the cases in which preventive antibiotics are needed to protect a patient. These instances include the following:
- Patients with a history of IE
- People with artificial heart valves
- Patients with certain congenital heart conditions
- And other highly specific cases
In these and other cases where your oral surgeon believes that an antibiotic is necessary to prevent the risk of infection during the critical healing phase after a dental procedure, he or she will not hesitate to prescribe. But this research is good news for patients who do not need those preliminary antibiotics!
Meet Your Oral Surgeon
Dr. Jeff Lee graduated from The Ohio State University and has become a trusted Marietta, OH oral surgeon since he began his private practice here. Throughout his career, Dr. Lee has received numerous awards for his professional, academic, and personal success. To learn more about his oral surgery services or to schedule an appointment, do not hesitate to contact Dr. Lee. He can be reached by phone at (740) 432-8768.