Dentistry is a constantly changing field, and it can be difficult to stay atop of the latest trends and scientific thinking. Dental materials have become more usable, reliable, and aesthetic, and dentistry has become increasingly recognized as a facet of overall health. It is important that your dentist stay informed by maintaining continuing education so that he can make appropriate treatment decisions.
One example of the ever-fluctuant medical landscape is antibiotic prophylaxis. Once routine for a myriad of conditions, the latest guidelines from the American Heart Association limit the need for antibiotic therapy prior to dental treatment to only a select few groups. New evidence has suggested that antibiotic use as a preventive measure against infective endocarditis has more capability for harm than good in most individuals, except those mentioned in the statement. Overuse of antibiotics can lead to drug-resistant strains of bacteria which cause serious infections. If you have a condition for which you have been pre-medicated prior to dental treatment, consult with your physician, cardiologist, and/or dentist to see if the latest guidelines still suggest coverage. As always, your doctors will use their best judgment in making such a decision.
Dental health is intimately tied to overall health, and your dental team should be willing to discuss new developments in dentistry and answer any questions you may have.