Do You Need Antibiotics for Dental Implants?

Do you need to take antibiotics when you receive dental implants? Believe it or not, this is a question that we receive in our Brentwood office all the time. Today’s stats show that about two out of every three Americans have one or more teeth missing from their mouth. With a number as high as this, it is no wonder that dental implants are so popular. Dental implants are unique to each patient, but they can help to provide you with the bone support you need while also making sure that your smile looks great. Below, we will take a look at whether or not dental implants truly need to have antibiotics before or after the procedure.

Dental Implants: What Are They?

A dental implant is best known as an artificial tooth root and it is placed directly into your jaw bone via a surgical procedure. Once the area is healed, the bone and the root will be fused together to create a sturdy foundation. Once healed, a crown, bridge, or denture is attached to the top of the implant.
Sometimes, additional procedures may need to be done including a bone graft to ensure there is enough bone in the jaw to support the implant. If you do have an additional procedure performed, you may need to take antibiotics to help the area heal.
Your mouth is one place that bacteria loves to live and this can eventually cause infections to form. When you do have minimally invasive procedures done, it can allow the bacteria present in your mouth to invade the space and lead to serious infections, especially in patients who have a weakened immune system.
Patients who have been declared high risk will often need to receive antibiotics to ensure that they do not experience a bacterial overgrowth. Most patients will not fit into this category, but older patients and those with immune disease will.
If you have been declared a low risk patient, you may still need to receive antibiotics to help keep the bacteria in your mouth away. Many dental implants are very successful, but if the gums around the post become infected, the implants will fail and there is no saving them.

Who Is a High or Low Risk Patient?

Seniors who have weakened immune systems or those patients who suffer from HIV, AIDS, diabetes, or those who smoke are considered to be high risk patients. These patients may experience a slower heal time and they may bleed more than a low risk patient.
The ADA and AHA recommend that patients who have heart conditions or those who suffer a higher chance of developing infection take a preventative antibiotic BEFORE the procedure is performed. Antibiotics are often recommended for patients who have prosthetic joints as well. While they are no longer routinely recommended by the AAOS, patients who have recently had surgery should receive antibiotics.

Evidence and Research on Antibiotics and Dental Implants

Often times, it is debated as to whether or not that low to moderate risk patients should take antibiotics for dental implant surgery. There are many concerns that arise when discussed such as the side effects of the medication, which can cause diarrhea and even mild headaches. In addition, there is a worry that the patient may be allergic to the medication or the patient may build up a tolerance to the antibiotics they are given.
A study that was completed by the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials quickly found that healthy individuals who took antibiotics BEFORE surgery received benefits such as not experiencing any negative side effects. Patients in the study received two grams of amoxicillin and it was given to all patients in a single dose prior to the procedure starting. Implant failure was reduced in all patients.
While the results seemed to show that implant failure was reduced, there is no evidence to show what antibiotic works best or how much a patient could actually benefit from the medicine.

Your Dental Needs and Dr. Luu

When you have a dental problem that arises, contact our Brentwood office. There are many benefits to using antibiotics before and after your dental implant surgery. While there are some benefits, this does not always mean that it is the right choice for you. The choice for you to receive antibiotics will be up to Dr. Luu and the decision will be based on your needs.
It is important that you speak with Dr. Luu and let him know about any previous surgeries you have had or any infections that have stemmed from your surgical procedures. You should also let Dr. Luu know about any past and current medications you are on and any vitamins that you take on a daily basis.
Dr. Luu will take all of this information into consideration and let you know if you will need to take antibiotics before or even after the procedure. Once you and Dr. Luu have gone over all of your options, you can choose the best one that works for you. If you would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Luu in our Brentwood office, call Fairview Dental today.