Artificial Joints and Antibiotics

January 23rd, 2015 - By steve.mccormack

Do you have an artificial knee or hip joint?  

Have you been taking antibiotics before all dental appointments?

You may not have to take those antibiotics anymore.


An American Dental Association panel of experts, in conjunction with the published recommendations from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons from  2012 has made this clinical recommendation…

“In general, for patients with prosthetic joint implants, prophylactic antibiotics are NOT recommended prior to dental procedures to prevent prosthetic joint infection.”  Probably 90% or more of patients will NOT need antibiotics now.

Reasons to continue taking these antibiotics before your appointment are:

  • if you are immuno-compromised
  • if you have had joint infections or complications
  • if you have ever taken osteoporosis medicines
  • if you have been on long term steroids like prednisone

HOWEVER …. the local orthopedic group of surgeons … St Croix Orthopedics … has chosen to continue to tell ALL patients to continue with antibiotics before all dental appointments.   This conflict in recommendations will confuse patients, so I would suggest you have a serious discussion with your surgeon at your next visit.

Ask them”why do I have to take antibiotics …. it is not what is currently recommended?”

Dr. McCormack will follow the recommendations of the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons … and discuss with each individual patient whether they should take antibiotics or not for their dental care.