In the past, doctors recommended patients with joint replacements take antibiotics before dental cleanings. At that time they believed the dental cleaning could stir up infection in the bloodstream that could infect the artificial joint.
New science shows that you should get your mouth completely healthy BEFORE surgery. If your mouth is unhealthy, the infection in your mouth can spread throughout your body and cause your surgery site to be infected during and immediately after the surgery. Surgeons are paying attention to this fact, and thorough surgeons want you to get clearance from your dentist before surgery. If your gums ever bleed when you brush or floss your teeth (or if your gums bleed during your dental cleaning), then you are at increased risk for surgery failure. If your dentist is not current on this science, he or she could give you clearance while you’re still at risk.
If you are planning to have joint replacement, Dr. Estep recommends you make sure your mouth is healthy before surgery. If you ever see pink in the sink when you brush or floss, and your dentist tells you your mouth is fine, it’s a good idea to seek an opinion from a dentist who is current in total wellness dentistry.
Artificial Heart Valve
If you are planning to have an artificial heart valve placed, it is important to make sure your mouth is healthy before surgery. If your mouth is unhealthy, bacterial infection may travel through your bloodstream and infect the site of surgery increasing your risk for surgery failure. Dr. Estep recommends minimally invasive treatment (like Perio Protect Trays) to get your mouth healthy and keep it that way. After you have your artificial valve placed, or if you already have an artificial heart valve, you should premedicate with antibiotics before dental cleanings and certain dental procedures.
If you are planning to have surgery of any kind, Dr. Estep recommends making sure your mouth is healthy first. If you are a new patient or haven’t seen Dr. Estep for more than 3 years, schedule a new patient cleaning and checkup now. If you’re an existing patient, schedule your cleaning and checkup visit. Dr. Estep’s team is knowledgeable about these surgery risks, and they can help you get your mouth healthy and reduce your surgery risks.