Experts: Invasive dental procedures do not increase odds of prosthetic joint infections

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People with orthopedic implants do not need regular use of antibiotics for dental work according to a recommendation from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, and the American Dental Association. The collaboration found no direct evidence that routine dental procedures cause prosthetic joint infections.

“It has been long debated that patients with orthopedic implants, primarily hip and knee replacements, are prone to implant infections from routine dental procedures,” said David Jevsevar, M.D., MBA, chair of the AAOS Evidence Based Practice Committee which oversees the development of clinical practice guidelines and an orthopedic surgeon in St. George, UT. 

“What we found in this analysis is that there is no conclusive evidence that demonstrates a need to routinely administer antibiotics to patients with an orthopedic implant who undergo dental procedures.”

Elliot Abt, DDS, MS, MSc, who served as member of the AAOS-ADA work group on behalf of the ADA, said the committee thoroughly reviewed existing clinical research published in peer-reviewed literature. 

“This guideline was based primarily on clinical research which examined a large group of patients, all having a prosthetic hip or knee and half with an infected prosthetic joint,” said Abt, a general dentist in Skokie, IL, and a member of the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs.  

The new clinical practice guideline includes the curtailment of use of oral topical antimicrobials. Guidelines were recently issued for prosthetic joint infections.

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