Premedication Before Dental Treatment

premedication antibiotics

Taking a precautionary antibiotic before dental treatment typically isn’t needed for most people and can, in some cases, do more harm than good, according to recent recommendations from the American Heart Association. The revised guidelines are a result of significant scientific evidence that shows that the risks of taking preventive antibiotics outweigh the benefits for most patients. Risks include adverse reactions to antibiotics and, more significantly, the development of drug-resistant bacteria. However, some conditions still warrant the use of premedication before dental treatment. During your initial consultation, your current and past medical history will be discussed with Dr. Niles. We will ensure that your treatment is necessary and safe for your current and past health. Learning about the updated recommendations from the American Heart Association regarding premedication before dental treatment is the smartest thing you can do as well as discussing medications with us.


Our Practice

A common practice for some patients with certain conditions has been to premedicate with an antibiotic before dental treatment. At Niles Family Dentistry, we are an eco-friendly practice that strives to provide you the most natural services, technology and environment for your dental experience. We are committed to helping the environment in all the work that we do, but our patients come before anything else, which is why premedication before dental treatment is something we want to be aware of to keep you healthy. One of the most important things we think about when it comes to dental treatments is the risk for anaphylactic reactions to premedications as well as developing drug-resistant bacteria. We want to avoid any complications in your dental care, as we value our patients immensely. So unless the premedication is needed, we don’t recommend it for our patients.


Premedication Before Dental Treatment

Caution should be taken when it comes to premedication before your dental treatment, as most don’t need it, but a small percent will. It typically isn’t needed for most people and can even harm you depending on your medical history and any pre-existing conditions at the time of treatment. You may not have heard of dental prophylaxis before, but is something we will mention here often. It is an antibiotic premedication administered during a cleaning procedure used to thoroughly clean the teeth at a dental appointment. It is not used on all patients, but it is used for combating bacteria and infections that could stem from periodontal disease and gingivitis treatments. Periodontal disease is an advanced case of gum disease and is usually caused by poor oral hygiene practices. When plaque is allowed to build up on the teeth, it mixes with bacteria in the foods you eat that will form an acidic substance. This substance can break down the tooth enamel, especially around your gumline. Gum disease will begin to manifest in the form of swollen, irritated, red or bleeding gums as well as a receding gum line. Premedication treatments are not advised unless your medical history warrants it.

The dental prophylaxis premedication treatment is recommended for certain people—such as those who have prosthetic joint implants—according to the American Dental Association. This is to prevent prosthetic joint infection from worsening if an infection is present. This is just one example of why it’s so important to have a consultation with us so that we can review your medical history and find the safest methods for treating you during your dental procedures. There are also premedication guidelines for patients that suffer from varying cardiac conditions and more.

Instances That Call for Premedication

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) provides us with some of the best insight about premedication treatments. There are a variety of medical conditions that can “predispose patients to bacteria-induced infections.” We can’t always predict when a patent will develop an infection, so we use prophylactic antibiotics when at-risk patients undergo dental procedures. We mentioned that underlying cardiac conditions could be a reason for premedication through prophylaxis. Prosthetic joint implants are one of the major things we look for as well when reviewing changes in your medical history. If you have had a knee replacement in the last 6 months, infections are common and we don’t want to add to it. With more than 4.5 million Americans living with knee replacements, and 4.7% of the population in the U.S. over 50 with them, it’s a common thing to run into. If you are fighting any other type of infection, we need to know about it so we can use premedication with prophylaxis. This will reduce the risk of any infections that could come from treating periodontal disease or gingivitis. It will also protect from making an existing infection worse, which you don’t want.



Each time we treat you at your biannual checkups and cleanings, we will ask for changes in medical history. It is always smart to let us know in your medical history of things going on with your body. It’s amazing how the mouth and gums can affect total body wellness, even when it comes to treating the gums. Any oral treatments that come in contact with the gums or delicate tissues and nerves of the teeth can lead directly to the blood stream, and hence to any infections going on. Giving you an added measure of protection with premedication is what we want to do when infections are already present. Like we said, most patients will not need premedication before their dental treatment, but some will. Premedication through prophylaxis can make a world of a difference in your dental care if you need it.

At Niles Family Dentistry, we want you to be as healthy as possible. Many conditions and symptoms throughout the body can stem from oral problems. We work our hardest to keep your oral health in check, which will make you healthier overall. If you have any changes in medical history or simply need to schedule your checkup and cleaning, call our office at (303) 652-0400 today.

Ashley Niles

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