Do you need an antibiotic before root canal treatment (called antibiotic prophylaxis)? There are two categories of patients who may need this. Those with certain heart conditions and those with artificial joints. The rules have changed in the last few years so what may have been true for you in the past may not be true now.
Here is an excerpt from the American Dental Society:
“Before some dental treatments, patients who have certain heart conditions and those with artificial joints take antibiotics. These people may be at risk of developing an infection in the heart or at the site of the artificial joint, respectively. Antibiotics reduce this risk. This is called antibiotic prophylaxis (pronounced pro-fuh-lax-iss).
“When treating patients with heart conditions, dentists follow recommendations developed by the American Heart Association, with input from the ADA. For patients who have total joint replacements, they refer to recommendations developed by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS).”
New research was recently published in the British Medical Journal about antibiotic prophylaxis. Research in this area is ongoing so expect more changes to these recommendations in time.