1. What are the medical conditions that may mean I have to have antibiotic premedication?
For years, we would routinely premedicate for heart murmurs. The recommendations from the American Heart Association and the American Dental Association have changed regarding that. Still, there are some rare heart conditions that continue to necessitate antibiotic coverage even for routine dental treatment.
Also, it is recommended that some patients with artificial joints receive antibiotic premedication. A consultation with your physician may be needed. With any condition, keep us aware of your health history and condition so that we may tailor our care for your best interest.
2. Are there any medications I need to discontinue before treatment?
Most medications are compatible with routine dental treatment. The two main exceptions are blood thinners and bone-sparing drugs, either of which may cause complications during or after surgery. Blood thinners inhibit clotting and prolong bleeding. Your prescribing physician will need to be consulted and will tell us how long before and after treatment you need to be off your blood thinner.
Researchers have recently found that bone-sparing drugs can in rare cases cause bone necrosis (bone death) after dental surgery at the surgery site. This is because these drugs while keeping the bone dense can also retard bone remodeling, which is a healing mechanism that must happen after a surgery even as simple as an extraction. We may refer you to an oral surgeon if we believe the risk is too great.
3. What can I do before treatment to make treatment more comfortable?
Relax. Wear comfortable clothes. If you are very nervous, we can give you nitrous oxide, “laughing gas,” to help reduce your anxiety. We are here to help you. The most important thing is prevention through proper daily hygiene, healthy diet, and routine maintenance. We like to catch problems early before they get too involved.