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Post-Op antibiotics prior to dental procedures

stockbrokersstockbroker Posts: 464
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:34 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
After one has a fusion with hardware, is it necessary to take antibiotics one hour prior to having ones teeth cleaned FOREVER or just for two years? My primary doesn't know and my surgeon is long gone. Susan


  • Broker, I just got my 1,000 mg cephalexan RX filled again b/c I have a dental appt next week. My GP & NS both say "From now on..." which I would think means FOREVER...or as long as you keep your hardware in?

    They both feel I can never be too careful. And I agree. Cheap hardware infection "insurance" if you ask me.

    Any others?

  • I hope to read more posts on this as I have heard nothing from my doc on this subject. I know for ADR and artificial joints it is the norm to take antibiotics but I was not sure about patients with fusion hardware.
  • I just took 2000 mgs (a.k.a. 2 grams) of antibiotics prior to having me teeth cleaned today. I was under the impression that I would only have to do this for two years but my surgeon is one of those high-strung tempermental sorts (ugh!) who once it became clear my surgery was a failure suggested I find a PM doc to implant a spinal cord stimulator. He even wrote me letters of referral. I kept him apprised as to how my search was going. Then, I found someone who would be coming to my city in a couple of months and I let the surgeons office know that I had found a PM doc. I then recieved a letter from the surgeon saying that since I was out looking for other doctors, he could no longer take care of me. It was a matter of trust. Can you believe it???? I once had the "audacity" to call with a question and was met with a letter from the attorney representing his new hospital affiliation, hence my lack of resources with regard to this question. I guess I could write another letter to his legal department about having my teeth cleaned. Maybe I will. Susan. (Or I'll just keep taking the antibiotics)
  • I have no idea about this. My first surgeon who did three of the surgeries never mentioned it to me. The second surgeon it was in his guide to surgery about the antibiotics. But I also have a mitro valve and since it was found from being at the dentist and infection following. I am a lifer for the antibiotics.
  • My surgeon said from now on I must pre-medicate (with antibiotics)before any dental work. My (former) dentist said that wasn't needed - only cardiac implant patients needed it. I told him my NS said I had to have it and once again, the dentist challanged it. I take the advice of a NS over a dentist everyday of the week and twice on Sunday.

    My NS explained that anytime bacteria (which your mouth is full of) enters or potentially enters your bloodstream, it runs the chance of attacking the fusion site since it has artificial components (rods, screws, cages) that are not capable of fighting infection.

    As I see it, better safe than sorry.

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • I asked my OS right after surgery and he did not think I nee to take antibiotics before cleaning. I also asked my dentist and he said it is only needed when somebody has infected teeth and cleaning them may introduce some bad bacteria to the blood stream. I had light dental work and cleaning the year following my surgery, without antibiotics and without any problems. But that is just me, you listen to what your doctor says.

  • The explanation you present makes a whole lot of sense. I will continue to take my cheap insurance. Susan.
  • I wasn't told about taking antibiotics prior to dental work because of the hardware. I was told however long ago that I needed to take this measure since I have mitral valve prolapse and slight tricuspid regurgitation.

    I can't believe the "audacity" of your surgeon either. Good grief!
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