Should I take antibiotics before a dental procedure if I’ve had a hip, knee or other joint replacement?

Short Answer:  No.

Long Answer:  There has been a fair amount of recent recommendations to take antibiotics before a dental procedure if you’ve had a joint replacement to prevent a hardware infection.  There have been very few reported cases of joint infection after dental procedures or an association between dental procedures and bacteria causing infections in joints because of  those procedures.  There was a case study done from 1997 – 2006 resulting in no significant association between dental procedures and prosthetic joint infection.  So don’t just take it from us, the American Academy of Oral Medicine, the American Dental Association (ADA) in conjunction with the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), and the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy all advise against universal use of antibiotics prior to dental procedures for prevention of PJI or prosthetic joint infection.

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According to the CDC, overusing antibiotics is the leading cause of antibiotic resistance.  Up to one-third to one-half of antibiotic use in humans is either unnecessary or inappropriate.

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