Antibiotic prophylaxis may sound complicated, but in truth, it is a pretty simple idea. It is also called premedication and consists of taking antibiotics before surgeries to decrease the likelihood of infections. From tooth extractions to root canals, antibiotic prophylaxis is used in all sorts of dental surgeries and procedures to prevent infections.
Candidates for Antibiotic Prophylaxis
Antibiotic prophylaxis is especially useful for those with compromised immune systems. Patients suffering from illnesses such as diabetes, heart conditions, and arthritis are more prone to infections. This is because while the majority of people have healthy immune systems that fight bacteria in the bloodstream, those with poor immune systems are not able to do so as well. Therefore, bacteria in their bloodstream can result in infections.
Risks of Antibiotic Prophylaxis
However, while antibiotic prophylaxis can be useful in those with pre-existing conditions, it isn't necessary for all patients. In fact, for some, it may even be harmful since it has many associated risks. These include unpleasant side effects such as nausea, vomiting, allergic reactions, and even severe anaphylactic shock. Another risk antibiotic prophylaxis poses is that of developing antibiotic resistance – this then interferes with treatments for other concerns.
Those over 70 should be especially careful when opting for antibiotic prophylaxis since they are more likely to experience side effects.
Are You a Good Candidate for Antibiotic Prophylaxis
This depends on the outcome of the benefits/risks analysis that should be performed based on your unique history. At Lehigh Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, and can go over your medical history and determine whether antibiotic prophylaxis is the right choice for you. This includes conditions you suffer from, the medications you are on, and more.
To schedule an appointment at Lehigh Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, all you have to do is call us at (610) 435-6161 and ask to see either or .