If you’ve ever had joint replacement surgery, your dentist may advise you to take preventive antibiotics before undergoing any procedures at their office. Even if the artificial joints are nowhere near your mouth, complications from the dental work could affect them. Review this guide to learn more about these scenarios and how to avoid them.

When Are Preventive Antibiotics Necessary?

Bacteria can enter the bloodstream through the mouth because it’s so vascular. This situation is called bacteremia, and it's especially problematic for people with artificial joints because removal is generally the only cure if any part of the prosthetic gets infected. 

Thanks to advancements in modern medicine, the risk of bacteremia is fairly negligible; however, when the dental procedure involves a considerable amount of potentially harmful bacteria — like root canal treatment — certain patients are advised to take antibiotics as a proactive measure. 


If it has been more than two years since the joint replacement surgery, you may not need preventive antibiotics before getting dental work unless your health is compromised in some other way. Patients with older artificial joints may only need antibiotics if they have hemophilia, a compromised immune system, Type 1 diabetes, or a history of infections in said joints.

Where Can Patients Get the Necessary Antibiotics?

If you need invasive dental work, your dentist will ask you a number of questions about your medical history to determine if you’re a good candidate for preventive antibiotics. If you are, the dentist may prescribe them, or they may refer you to your primary care physician, who can confirm you're in a good condition to undergo the procedure.


If you’re concerned about getting dental work because you have artificial joints, turn to Riviera Dental Care in Foley, AL. Their friendly dentists are well-versed in the dental risks associated with joint replacement surgery, and they take all recommended measures to mitigate them. This full-service family practice provides preventive, restorative, and cosmetic care. To learn more about their comprehensive services, visit their website. To make a dentist appointment, call (251) 943-3368.