Do I need a pre-med and why?

We all have bacteria in our mouths, and a number of dental treatments—and even daily routines like brushing or flossing—can allow that bacteria to enter the bloodstream (bacteremia). For most of us, this isn’t a problem. A healthy immune system prevents these bacteria from causing any harm. There is concern, however, that for some people bacteremia can cause an infection elsewhere in the body, so at times physicians and dentists recommend that a patient take antibiotics before certain dental procedures. This is called “antibiotic prophylaxis” or sometimes referred to as a pre-med. Antibiotic prophylaxis recommendations exist for several groups of patients:

  • Those with artificial heart valves
  • Those with a history of infective endocarditis
  • Those with an artificial joint

Comments are closed.