Antibiotic prophylaxis for endocarditis, prosthetic joints, and surgery

Department of Restorative Dentistry, Dental School, Framlington Place, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 4BW, United Kingdom.
Dental Clinics of North America 11/2002; 46(4):635-51. DOI: 10.1016/S0011-8532(02)00033-2
Source: PubMed


It would seem from a review of the evidence that the need for antibiotic prophylaxis in dentistry is overstated. In simple mathematic terms, the risk for providing coverage is greater than the outcomes that could arise if coverage is withheld. In addition, there is the increasing problem of the development of resistant strains and their impact on medicine and dentistry. Yet despite these observations, the profession continues to put their patients at this greater risk. Medico-legal issues do cloud judgments in this area and many dentists err on the side of caution. The profession does require clear, uniform guidelines that are evidence-based. At present, there is still significant debate as to who is at risk from dental-induced bacteremia and what procedures require chemoprophylaxis.

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