New Antibiotic Guidelines?

Published on June 18, 2012 by

As study of the new U.S. guidelines recommending limited use of antibiotics in dental patients have not led to an increase in cases of the heart condition infective endocarditis. Actually, researchers found that the number of cases has decreased since the American Heart Association guidelines were introduced in 2007.
Infective endocarditis is a bacterial infection of the heart lining, valves or blood vessels. It can occur when bacteria enter the bloodstream through wounds in the gums that arise during invasive dental procedures such as a tooth extraction. Left untreated, the infection can cause death.
Previously, many patients received preventive antibiotics before having dental procedures. The new guidelines advised that patients take antibiotics before dental procedures only if they are at risk from infective endocarditis. These patients include those with artificial heart valves, transplanted hearts with abnormal heart valve function, previous infective endocarditis, and specific heart defects.
Researchers said the data suggested that infective endocarditis occurred in two to three of every 100,000 people in the United States before the new guidelines, and in one of every 100,000 after the new guidelines. “These findings are reassuring, but additional studies are needed to further support our findings.” Because the subjects were primarily white, the findings might not apply to other races, the researchers said. This study was published June 11 in Circulation.

For More information

The American Dental Association has more about antibiotics.
SOURCE: American Heart Association, news release, June 11, 2012
Pre-medication for Bacterial Endocarditis is Amoxicillan 2,000 mg 1 hour before the dental appointment. It is this author’s opinion that both the dentist and patient would rather be safe than sorry. This author follows these guidelines and also pre-medicates for jiont replacements.

Filed under: Prevention

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