Dentistry,  Oral Surgery

Oral Surgery and Endocarditis

A new study validates American Heart Association guidelines concerning oral surgery and the prevention of bacterial endocarditis.

The strongest evidence yet to support clinical guidelines that recommend that people at high risk of endocarditis, such as those who’ve had previous episode the disease or who have a prosthetic cardiac valve, should take antibiotics before they have a tooth pulled or other types of oral surgery, comes from a new study that used two methodologies.

But it also pointed out that two-thirds of the time they aren’t getting that type of antibiotic coverage.

The researchers conducted a cohort study of almost 8 million retirees with employer-paid Medicare supplemental prescription benefits and dental benefits, then conducted a case-crossover study of 3,774 people from the cohort who’d been hospitalized with infectious endocarditis (IE) and who had invasive dental procedures. The bottom line is that the study supports the clinical guidelines from the American Heart Association and the European Society of Cardiology that recommend antibiotic prophylaxis (AP) before dental procedures for patients at high-risk of IE.

Noncompliance is very worrisome. Dentists and patients alike should be vigilant in preventing this potentially deadly infection.