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Hardware and Dentistry

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,899
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:23 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
After I had a hip replacement, I was told by O/S that if I had any dental work done including clean & scale to make sure to have antibiotics prior.
So the dentist orders me a script and I usually have a mega dose 1 hr prior to my appointment.
Now as I have just recieved a reminder to see the dentiast I thought to ask the Spinal surgeon about this and he agreed that it would be good to do for the hardware in the back as well.
The reason being is that different parts of our bodies are linked up so an infection in the tooth or gum can become a serious problem for other parts of our bodies. I sure would be cheesed off if I had a dental problem and the hardware in my back got an infection. :''(
I know that heart patients too also have antibiotics pre dental treatment.

Just thought I would share that.

Sara O:)


  • Never heard that one before! I have mitral valve prolapse and I have to take antibiotic prior to dentestry for that-but I am surprised that I would have to for hardware-weird.
  • People with hardware and implants should definitely be informed if that's the case. Would love to hear more on this subject.

  • When I had my knee replacement in 2000, I was told I'd need to take antibiotics every time I have my teeth cleaned. I was told the same thing after my back fusion with hardware in 2007.

    Emergency surgery in March of 2006 for spinal infection of L 2 and L 3. During surgery, discovered I had Cauda Equina Syndrome. Spine became unstable after surgery and had 360 fusion with 10 pedicle screws, plates and rods in April of 2007.
  • i always had to take it prior to seeing the dentist with my hips too.
  • My surgeon gave me a form saying if I had any dentistry done within 6 months after surgery, I would need to contact the dentist for an antibiotic script. According to my surgeon, after 6 months, the antibiotics are not necessary.
  • Thanks for the info Mark.
  • Like so many other things to do with spinal surgery there will always be some Surgeons that do and some that dont.

    I would just rather be safe then sorry and I know from having previously looked into holistic dentistry how the nerves in our teeth can effect other body parts.

    Blessings and happy smiling :D
    Sara O:)
  • Its a risk if you have any type of dental work done not to have antibiotics before and after. Think about it you are messing around with the strongest germs around our body. In the mouth if the grems get into the bllod streamm you get an infection, well the infection will go to the hardware and even if you are 6 months or years out of surgery you can get an infection there.

    Regardless if you get an infection in your bloodstream, it more than not will go to the hardware and it will have to be taken out. 1st thing they would do is give you antibiotics, then take the hardware out, replace it if not fused.

    Who would take the risk of all that trouble for a little dental work. Has anyone seen the screws they use in hardware. They are hallow and big and they have a thing at the end that the rod goes into. I kept my old hardware wonder if I can find it to post a pic.

    I'm almost shocked that so little people know the risks of dental or even different surgeries that you should always take a round of antibiotics.

  • my doctor said to follow the american heart assoc. guidelines for antibiotics regarding pre-medication for any dental work or any other surgery for six months
  • I have had several surgeries of the c-spine. The first surgeon who did three of the surgeries didn't mention anything to me about it. However i have a mitro valve so always use antibiotics before having any dental work done. When i was reading the paper work that was given to me for the last surgery(different surgeon) it was in the pamphlet that they gave me. The pamphlet was not something that they had made up but rather something that came from maybe the manufacture of the hardware or the manufacture of the BMP. Sorry i wished i would have kept the booklet. Imagine my surprise when i read that cause i did have a hardware issue and it had to be taken out after the second surgery. So my two cents is call your dentist before having any work done and make sure they are aware of your hardware if your surgeon doesn't give you a real answer on it. Looks like another one of those areas were all are not following the same protocol or the odds are so slim that it is not considered a risk factor.
  • I prefer the better safe than sorry method


    It will not hurt us at ALL to take antibiotics. So why not? That's kind of like not wearing your seatbelt. It doesn't hurt to wear it, but it's a precaution. I realize they're different situations, but it's the same concept. When you compare the benefits of having the antibiotics, to the cons... Oh, wait. There aren't any ;)
  • http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070419172103.htm

    I have never heard of taking antibiotics prior to dental except for heart patients; nor was taught that in any of my classes. The link does refer to the American Heart guidlines.
    Alao, taking antibiotics when not needed can make them not work for you when they are needed.
    Take care!
  • That only happens if you take them CONSTANTLY. Not once or twice a year for dental work.
  • I forgot you had all this healthcare training. Actually it does matter, and our bodies build up resistance. Check out the links, if your still non-believing.




    Take care!
  • This is exactly what i'm dealing with right now. I have a puppy that jumped up and hit my front tooth, I didn't realize he had really hurt me. I went to the dentist (6 month checkup) and it turns out my right front tooth root was fractured and now bone was erroding and infection has set in. Right about the same time my hip where they took the bone started hurting like hell. Surgrey was in March. And it had healed and was fine. Now it's suspected I have osteomyelitis in my hip. I see the OS on Thursday but am waiting to have a 3 phase bone scan to see if I do or not. Osteomyelitis is caused by a bacteria infections which is what i had in my mouth. The tooth gets removed on Monday. Bone graft and implant. Fake tooth until bone heals then a crown. (this puppy has gotten very expensive)
  • Way to be rude. You don't have to agree with me but you don't have to be sarcastic and immature. Act like a 38 year old, not a 12 year old. Sarcasm is not endearing.

    And for your information, I've talked to multiple doctors about it AND dentists. I have a heart murmur and they still make me take them, so I'm speaking from personal experience. And I am giving my own personal opinion based on that experience. You don't have to insult people just because you believe something different. My goodness. Take a chill pill.
  • So sorry. You are right that is turning into one expensive doggie. Dental work sure does get more expensive as you age. i don't ever get cavities anymore, just cave ins.

    I had fusion in Aril of this year and then had my teeth cleaned and a root canal this summer. Dentist and specialist both called my surgeon to see if they need to give me anti-biotics. He said no, but I had to take for the root canal anyway.

    Just another one of those things that we seem to get so much different info on depending upon our Doc.

    I do know that they have linked alot of health issues (heart) to good oral hygeine and that it is important to see a dentist on a regular basis.
  • Just stating the facts. I have read alot of your posts and you act as if your point is the only one and its law. Not being sarcastic, just stating the obvious. You come across alot in these post as being so knowledgable, but in reality you have only tour experiences to go by. If you dont like what I type, feel free not to read. That simple. Not insulting anyone, just staing FACTS according to many top notch places, like links in the previous post. If thats what your doctors believe, so be it. Its that easy. And as far as being rude.. "acting 12" was being rude. Thank you and have a fabulous day, I know I will. :)
  • I read what you said because you replied specifically to my comment.

    If you actually have read my posts, then you will see that most (MOST, not ALL) of them begin with "I've been told" or "As far as I know" or "For me, personally" and there have been many where I've replied and said "wow, I didn't know that" or "thanks for the information, I have been wondering about that". I don't think I know everything... But I DO know that just as you are entitled to your opinion, I am too. I don't judge you for it, so I'd appreciate it if you'd keep the sarcastic rude comments to yourself. There is a difference between disagreeing with someone and stating your opinion on the topic, and being PERSONALLY INSULTING towards ONE specific person JUST because you don't agree. If you're so much better than I am, you'd think you'd be a bit more mature than to have that smug sarcastic attitude you do.

    And for the record, not all of my opinions or views are based on my OWN personal experiences, so please don't assume so.
  • Shadow,

    It is true that taking antibiotics unnecessarily can effect you so that in the future you not respond to them. This is why at times doctors are resistant to prescribe them, especially for something like a virus cold when they are ineffective anyway. But it does not mean that one cannot take a single dose before dental treatment. I have a chronic lung condition, and at times I am on an antibiotic rotation for months, meaning I take a different antibiotic for a week in every month while I am on this treatment regime. When I expressed my worries to my pulmonary doc that I worry about taking too much antibiotics, he explained that I am getting very low dosage and a different one every time, so I won't develop resistance to it. Also, very often they come out with a different antibiotic with different chemical base, so the possibilities are limitless (almost). So the lesson is don't take antibiotics indiscriminantly, but when you need them, don't hesitate and take them.

  • That is true kin.. was only trying to pass along what I was taught... Been an RN for years, have worked in the very field that Im having surgery in, lol. Thanks for your input! :)
  • Hey shadow I agree with you. My son suffered with severe mrsa infection after his second spinal fusion surgery for scoliosis. This resulted in 6 major spinal surgeries, hardware in hardware out, 10 weeks on Zyvox, 6 weeks on IV VAnco, bacteremia, too many days in pediatric intensive are. It is dangerous to take antibiotics if not needed. That being said however, it is also crutially important not to get an infection around your hardware. My son's dentist had asked if he needed antibiotic and his surgeon said no. I hope the surgeon is right because once you have chronic osteomyelitis, it can lay low just waiting for the next chance to take over. I know with the last two surgeries for my son to put the hardware back in, they were very proactive and gave him iv vanco the whole time in the hospital although at that time there was no indication that the infection was there.
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