Understanding Why Your Family Dentist Might Recommend Antibiotics Before Your Procedure

If you've been struggling with dental issues and need to visit your family dentist for any kind of procedure, you may find that your dentist won't see you until you've taken a preventative course of antibiotics. While this isn't typical for all patients, there are certain patients who do need them. If you're one of them, you may wonder why. Here are some common situations where people may need to take preventative antibiotics before a dental procedure.

Heart Conditions

Patients with heart disease, heart transplants, heart valve replacements, and similar issues are often advised to take preventative antibiotics before any dental procedures. Since dental procedures increase the risk of bleeding, this increases your risk of bacteria and other hazards being introduced into your bloodstream. 

A heart condition makes you far more susceptible to severe illness from any kind of infection, so preventing those infections becomes essential. As a result, your dentist will want to take every possible precaution, including preventative antibiotics, to protect your health.

Joint Replacements

It takes your body a long time to fully recover and adapt after a joint replacement. You'll be at greater risk of infections and rejection for at least a couple of years after your joint replacement. Any severe infection can increase your risk, and you'll be more vulnerable to infection until your immune system fully recovers.

As a result, dentists used to recommend that patients with a joint replacement take a preventative antibiotic before treatments for a couple of years after the replacement. However, recently that has changed, and dentists are continuing with preventative antibiotics well beyond then after a joint replacement.

Autoimmune Conditions

When you have an autoimmune condition, your body is more susceptible to many different viruses and illnesses, including infections. Your immune system can't fight these things off the way that it should, which means that you'll need to be cautious during any dental procedures.

Your dentist will have you take a preventative antibiotic before the procedure, and you may even have to continue taking the antibiotic for several days following your treatment. This will help ensure that your body fights off any potential bacteria that was introduced even after the procedure occurs.

Understanding when you could be at greater risk of illness from your dental procedures is important. Your dentist will be attentive to these risks and will take the necessary precautions. If your dentist is asking you to take a preventative antibiotic, these are some of the reasons why that could be. If you're not sure why your dentist recommends it, ask him or her to clarify.

To learn more, contact a family dentist.