So you decided to go ahead an have a dental implant. Dental implants are used for many scenarios, and in all of these scenarios antibiotics may play a role to ensure good healing.
The mouth harbors multiple bacterial species capable of causing infection. Even minimally invasive dental procedures, including dental implant surgery, can allow bacteria to enter the bloodstream.
Pre-medicating with antibiotics prior to the surgery can prevent bacteria from reaching and infecting high-risk areas of the body. This is more important for people with high risk conditions. Most people do not fall into this category but if you do (based on your medical history) your doctor will let you know and discuss it with you.
Even though dental implants typically have a high rate of survival (over 90%), some may fail due to local bacterial contamination. Infections immediately following surgical implant placement are difficult to treat and almost all infected implants need to be removed.
For any structure to stand firm needs to have stable base. The implant is the base that will hold the crowns, so the implant needs to be healthy.
High And Low Risk Individuals
Older adults with a weakened immune system or other serious health problems, smokers, diabetics and those who may be underweight or overweight are especially at risk for infection.
The use of prophylactic (preventive) antibiotics is particularly important for patients at high risk for infection. This includes individuals with prosthetic heart valves, a history of infective endocarditis, a heart transplant, and certain congenital (present from birth) heart conditions.
Prophylactic antibiotics are no longer routinely recommended for all prosthetic joints. However, some orthopedic surgeons recommend prophylactic antibiotics for patients with artificial joints for up to two years following replacement surgery.
Evidence-Based Research Findings
Generally it is still debated whether clinically healthy, low- and moderate-risk individuals should be prescribed antibiotics for dental implant surgery. The concerns include side effects that range from diarrhea to allergic reactions, and the rise in the appearance of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
A recent study found that taking oral antibiotics before dental implant surgery can be beneficial. It reported that 2 grams of amoxicillin given as a single dose an hour before surgery may reduce implant failure in ordinary conditions without any significant adverse outcomes.
The reviewers also inferred that giving antibiotics to 25 people would avoid one person experiencing early implant loss. They did not find any clear evidence about the benefit of taking antibiotics after surgery, or which antibiotics work best.
A dose of antibiotics before the surgery will improve the success rate of implants.