Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Do I need antibiotics for a tooth extraction?"
I'm scheduled to have my tooth removed next week. My best friend had to take an antibiotic before having a similar procedure. But doc hasn't mentioned this. Do I need a prescription too?
This is a very individualized question, not just on your part but also on the part of the surgeon or dentist who is removing the tooth, so it is important to discuss it with them. There are some people who have medical conditions that require antibiotics before even the most routine procedures. Historically, people with heart valve problems have been recommended to have antibiotics before any dental work, although this is less common lately. There are other things besides a heart valve that can cause or require that antibiotics be given around the time of the procedure. In addition to the patient variability, there is also a variable nature to the art and practice of medicine and dentistry. Perhaps due to the experiences and training that your dentist or surgeon has had in the past, he or she feels more strongly for or against antibiotics. Such situations are often excellent points for discussion between a patient and his or her physician, and it would be in your best interest to discuss this with your surgeon or dentist. He or she will be able to better understand your concerns and be able to help set your mind at ease around the time of the procedure. Please speak with your dentist or surgeon.
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