What Antibiotics are Given Before Surgery?

Sometimes dentists recommend that a patient take antibiotics before oral surgery or certain dental procedures. At our Westmount dental centre, antibiotics may also be prescribed if some kind of oral infection is present, as in cases where someone is experiencing a dental emergency in Montreal.

Antibiotics Before Dental Treatment

Dental procedures and even brushing and flossing can release bacteria in the mouth that may enter the bloodstream. While most people have healthy immune systems that prevent these bacteria from causing harm, for some, bacteria can cause infection in other areas of the body

In the past, the American Heart Association recommended that patients with certain heart conditions take an antibiotic before any type of dental treatment. These guidelines were amended to include only people at high risk of developing infective endocarditis, an infection of the heart’s inner lining or heart valves. If you’re at high risk for infective endocarditis or have complications associated with joint replacement surgery, your dentist may prescribe an antibiotic before dental treatment or oral surgery.

Antibiotics for Existing Infection

Oral infections like abscesses, gum infections and infected wisdom teeth need to be treated with antibiotics before dental procedures such as root canals or extractions can be performed. Although these procedures are very safe, taking a full course of antibiotics before surgery prevents the spread of infection and reduces the chance of complications.

Depending on the severity of the infection and whether or not you are allergic to penicillin, your dentist may prescribe a 5-10 day course of amoxicillin, clindamycin or another antibiotic before you return for your procedure.  In some cases, a second antibiotic such as Metronidazole is prescribed to fight more than one type of bacteria. If you are allergic to penicillin, make sure to let your dentist know.

Whether you are seeking treatment for a dental emergency in Montreal or need to take antibiotics prior to dental treatment due to a health condition, an experienced dentist at our Westmount dental centre  will speak with you about your medical history and give you a thorough examination to determine whether an antibiotic is appropriate for you.