You may have heard that it generally speaking dentists prescribe antibiotics before certain surgical procedures, such as wisdom teeth removal; however, this isn’t always the case. In fact, there are certain instances when prescribing antibiotics before such a procedure are indeed beneficial, but other cases where prescribing antibiotics is counterproductive. In this article, we’ll discuss what you should know about antibiotics as they pertain to wisdom teeth removal, and how to find the best, most thorough care possible during your dental procedure.
Wisdom Teeth Removal Process Risks
When it comes to having wisdom teeth removed, it’s true that it is a common procedure, but that doesn’t make it any less scary to most people. Wisdom teeth removal is a surgical procedure that certainly has its pros and cons, and both should be weighed thoroughly before undergoing the operation. Like any other surgical procedure, wisdom teeth removal comes with risks that should not go overlooked; the most common risk being infection. Using antibiotics for this procedure is common – but usually we’re used to antibiotics being prescribed after a surgery, not necessarily before.
What Are Antibiotics Used For in Dental Procedures?
Dental procedures, such as extractions, that pose a risk to the patient in terms of developing an infection require some forethought on the part of the dental professional performing the procedure. Antibiotics are sometimes essential to help ensure that an infection doesn’t develop after the fact; however, in preventive care antibiotics may also be prescribed under a specific set of circumstances.
The Risk of Infection in Wisdom Teeth Extraction
As we mentioned before, there is certainly a risk of infection in wisdom teeth removal, as well as something called dry socket. Both of these conditions are viable risks and pose threats to patient recovery after tooth extraction – an important factor to attempt to control. Infections can lead to serious health problems that should be avoided all together.
What Conditions Require Preventive Antibiotic Treatments?
Under normal circumstances and in most average wisdom teeth extraction cases, antibiotics are usually not prescribed before such a procedure; however, there are specific cases where preventive antibiotics are warranted and prescribing antibiotics is part of best practice and patient care. Here are some unique circumstances that often require antibiotic treatment before wisdom teeth extraction:
If a patient has a joint implant, particularly if there have been complications with the implant in the past, they are at a heightened risk of developing an infection.
Patients who have heart conditions are at risk of infective endocarditis – a serious condition that is difficult to treat and due to complications after surgical procedures. These are more specific situations where patients with heart conditions may need to undergo preventive antibiotic care:
- Patients with heart valve or congenital heart disease
- Patients with cardiac transplants
- Patients who have undergone cardiac valve surgeries
- Patients who have experienced infective endocarditis in the past
Other medical conditions related to the body’s immune system can pose a threat to the body’s healthy recovery after a surgical procedure, even if a mild one like wisdom tooth extraction. These are a few immune-system related complications that warrant antibiotic treatment before wisdom tooth extraction:
- Patients with arthritis
- Patients with HIV
- Patients with lupus
- Patients with insulin-dependent diabetes
Medications Can Affect Your Immune System
Your immune system is what fights off infection and helps your body heal after wisdom tooth extraction or any other surgical procedure. Along with medical conditions, certain medications can also inhibit your body’s immune system response. Here are some that you should be aware of:
- Steroids, including inhalers for asthma
- Medications for heartburn or indigestion
- Medications to regulate cholesterol
- Anti-depressant medications
- Certain painkillers
How to Get More Information
The professionals here at the Dental Group of Simi Valley have been performing wisdom tooth extractions for Simi Valley, CA, residents for decades upon decades with great success. Preparing for wisdom teeth removal isn’t a one-size-fits-all process, and it’s important for your dental professional to take your own unique circumstances into consideration. That’s why here at Dental Group of Simi Valley we take extra precaution to ensure our patients’ safety and recovery. To learn more about the extraction process, or our services and experience, please feel free to contact us directly.