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Anyone who is going to have a dental procedure that involves antimicrobial, or bacteria destroying, agents (which are commonly referred to as antibiotics) should understand their specific uses.
There has been growing concern and speculation over the last few years about the long-term effects of prescribed medications, and the speculation that some medications are over-prescribed can lead to a speculation about the necessity of taking antibiotic treatments prescribed by your dentist before or after your dental procedure.
Antibiotics are prescribed medicines that contain powerful bacteria-killing properties and agents. They are commonly prescribed for use conjunction with dental procedures, because they are beneficial in killing bacteria that can cause abscesses and infections of the teeth. Antibiotics are also extremely beneficial in preventing the harmful bacteria that all people have in their mouth from entering the bloodstream before, during, or after a dental work is completed.
Even though antibiotics are proven as being safe and extremely beneficial to dental procedures, trained dentists are also extremely careful to prescribe and use them only when medically necessary. There are several organizations like the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Heart Association (AHA) who have very rigid guidelines for the use of antibiotic treatments with regards to the prevention of surgical complications and disease. These guidelines are specific to many people, but mostly are geared towards those people who have been diagnosed with a heart condition or have had previous surgery to replace joints or limbs. Heart condition patients run the risk of developing infective endocarditis, which is a medical condition that causes inflammation of the valves and chambers in the heart. Bleeding that is common during dental procedures can enter the bloodstream and cause this inflammation. Antibiotics are also prescribed as a preventative for this potential complication in people who have been diagnosed with a Mitral valve prolapse or heart murmur. People with joint or limb replacements can develop blood-borne infections if the bacteria makes it to the synthetic joints or limbs.
Dentists also use antibiotics when treating people who have severe dental problems, including abscessed or infected teeth and periodontal disease, which is a severe condition affecting the gums.
The types of antibiotic treatments that a dentist uses depends on the patientâ€™s situation. Patients with a heart condition or individuals who have had a joint replaced are given antibiotics to take prior to their dentist appointment, in preparation for the treatment. Other individuals are usually given antibiotics during or after the dental procedure to keep any infection form developing.
There are four different methods in which a dental patient is given antibiotic treatments: oral, chip, powder, and gel. Oral treatments are by far the most common, and usually consist of the patient being administered around two grams of an antibiotic in pill form which is swallowed prior to the procedure. Penicillin is the most common oral antibiotic preparations, and is usually substituted with amoxicillin if there are allergy problems.
The chip, powder, and gel antibiotic treatment methods are all applied beneath the gum line where bacteria tend to live and breed. Their difference between them is generally the type of antimicrobial agent used. Dentists who prefer to use the powder form typically use a medicine called Minocycline. The chip treatment method involves the use of Chlorhexadine. The gel form involves the dentist injecting a medicine called Doxycline beneath the gum line. After roughly 10 days, theses antibiotic treatments will generally dissolve on their own, and without further involvement from the dentist.
People with heart conditions should always consult with their physician to determine if the condition they have will require antibiotic treatments before, during or after any type of dental procedure.
All patients should note at there are side effects associated with antibiotics, as there are with any medication. It is noted that side effects from antibiotic use are generally mild, the common effects being nausea, fever and diarrhea. There is always the possibility of a more extreme reaction, such as an allergic reaction. If any changes in health are noted by the patient when on an antibiotic treatment, they should contact medical professionals immediately.
Oral birth control pills and other types of contraceptives may cause unknown reactions when combined with antibiotics. Consuming alcohol is discouraged even in small amounts when taking antibiotics because side effects like severe vomiting have been known to develop. Additionally, you should always inform your dentist about any medications (prescribed or over-the-counter) you are taking, as there may be potential side-effects of drugs being used in combination.
Antibiotics will destroy or inhibit all forms of bacteria in their path. The overuse or over-prescription of antibiotics can cause a patients body to become resistant to these treatments and result in a breakdown of the normal immune defenses that the body controls. Any prior or current use of antibiotic treatments is important to be discussed with your dentist.