Do I need to take antibiotics before my dental appointment?

Serving Fort Worth, Arlington, Keller and surrounding areas of Texas.


Do I need to take antibiotics before my dental appointment?In the past, people who had a history of joint replacement and a number of other systemic conditions were given antibiotics. But with the rise of antibiotic resistance, health care providers and researchers have had the opportunity to take a closer look at the potential benefits and risks of taking antibiotics before a routine dental visit.

In 2012, the American Dental Association and the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons stated that dentists may consider “discontinuing the practice of routinely prescribing prophylactic antibiotics.” People who have had an artificial joint placed within the last 2 years used to routinely receive an antiobiotic prescription or dosing before their appointment. Based on scientific studies, dental procedures are not related to prosthetic joint infections. So the risk of an infection after a dental visit due to a history of joint replacement is slim.

There are some patients that have a weakened immune system and can benefit from an anitibiotic prophylaxis. These conditions include diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, or patients that have undergone prolonged steroid treatment. In the mentioned cases, an antibiotic prophylaxis may be beneficial.

Also, patients that have an artificial heart valve and those with a history of a heart lining infection, known as infective endocarditis, a defective heart valve,  or unrepaired cyanotic congenital heart condition are recommended to be considered for antibiotic treatment before a dental visit.

The purpose of antibiotics is to disarm bacteria that can cause an infection. However, antibiotics can have side effects like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, allergic reactions, or urinary tract infections. So it is important to ensure that the benefit of taking the antibiotic outweighs the risks.

At Museum Smiles Dentistry, we take the patient’s health history and risk factors into account before prescribing any medication that the patient may need. If you or someone you know is interested in a comprehensive dental examination, give us a call or schedule an appointment online. We would love to be your family dentist. And are conveniently located within a few minutes of Downtown Fort Worth. We proudly serve patients from Arlington, Keller, and Fort Worth Areas.