Thursday, September 5, 2013

Premedication Prior To Dental Treatment

The need for a qualified patient to premedicate prior to dental treatment has been a preventative measure that has been in place for many years. I grew up with a heart condition and I have always been required to premedicate before a dental visit. The topic came up around the office over that last week because we had heard that the recommendations for who needs to premedicate and for how long had changed. 

I did a lot of research and spoke to some of my colleagues in the dental field. The recommendations have indeed changed. According to the American Heart Association, American Dental Association, and the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons, people with certain heart conditions are no longer required to premedicate, unless they have had a valve replacement surgery. People that had a joint replacement are required to premedicate for 2 years after the surgery.

The reason for this change is that research has shown that the risk of anaphylactic shock from taking the medication every time is greater than the risk of infection that could occur if you do not premedicate. Much to the surprise of the dental industry, these new recommendations have not gone over well with patients that have become accustom to premedicating as the practice has become more a "peace of mind" for them.

Regardless of what the recommendation is, a doctor's order will supercede it. So make sure that you check with your doctor on whether or not you still have to premedicate!

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