What You Should Know About Antibiotic Treatment During Dental Procedures

Dentists often administer antibiotics to patients. To alleviate any concern about antibiotics during dental treatment, you should become aware of their purpose during the procedure and how they can help.

When Are Antibiotics Used?

One important use of antibiotics during a dental procedure is to prevent bacteria from entering your bloodstream. Depending on the type of dental work you have performed by a dentist, there is a chance that light bleeding may occur. If the tooth that is being worked on has an infection, a dentist can administer antibiotics during the dental procedure to kill the bacteria.

There are definite benefits of using antibiotics during dental procedures, but dental specialists use them in cases where they are essential. People with heart conditions must be extra careful during dental procedures because of a risk for developing infective endocarditis. The American Dental Association (ADA) worked with the American Heart Association (AHA) to develop standards for dentists to follow when determining if a patient requires antibiotics. People who are at risk for developing infective endocarditis, characterized by inflammation of the heart, are at the top of the list. In addition to people with heart disorders, individuals who have undergone joint replacement surgery are susceptible to developing infections of the bloodstream, and are recommended for antibiotic treatment when having dental procedures.

How Are Antibiotics Administered?

Most people are familiar with the pill form of antibiotics. In addition to this form, dentists also use other forms of antibiotics during procedures, including gel, chip, and powder. These forms of antibiotics are injected just under gum level where most infection-causing bacteria collect. They differ in the type of antimicrobial agent they contain: gel antibiotics contain Doxycline. Chip antibiotics contain Chlorhexadine, and the powder form uses Minocycline.

Preparing for Dental Work with Antibiotics

If your dentist informs you that you need a dental procedure and he or she is considering antibiotic treatment, the first item of importance is to make sure that you are an ideal candidate. If you have a health-related disorder or you are taking medication, talk to your doctor or pharmacist to make sure you can have antibiotic treatment.

The only other step you need to take to prepare for a dental procedure that involves the dentist administering antibiotics is to alert your dentist to any reactions you have after the procedure. Serious side effects are not typically associated with antibiotics. However, if you experience any unusual symptoms, let your dentist know right away.