Antibiotic Protection for Dental Surgery

The Big Heart Disease Lie

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SOME TYPES OF HEART CONDItions put people at a higher risk to develop infectious endocarditis, or an infection of the heart that can damage heart valves. To protect these patients, cardiologists often recommend antibiotic protection before undergoing surgery, including dental surgery. Your dentist or dental surgeon, in addition to any other doctors, should be made aware if you have one of these conditions before you undergo surgery.

The heart conditions that make a patient susceptible to infectious endocarditis include y People with artificial valves, whether they are artificial or biological y People with most types of congenital heart defects y Patients with mitral valve prolapse with mitral valve regurgitation and/or thickened leaflets y Patients with acquired valvular disease, such as from rheumatic heart disease y Patients with abnormally thickened heart muscle Patients who have had coronary artery bypass grafting, however, do not generally need antibiotic protection during dental procedures. As always, though, if you have a heart problem, check with your cardiologist and it is recommended to remind your dentist and other doctors about your condition.

Heart disease can often be identified through signs and symptoms that are detectable before a heart attack or other medical emergency.

CHAPTER FOUR

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