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Considerations for Prophylactic Antibiotics

In 2007, the American Heart Association (AHA) revised its recommendations, limiting the conditions for which endocarditis prophylaxis is recommended before dental treatment to those associated with the highest risk. Patients with certain heart conditions no longer require short-term antibiotics prior to dental treatment as a measure in preventing infective endocarditis.

The British Cardiac Society and the British Society of Anti-microbial Chemotherapy also provide therapeutic guidelines relating to endocarditis prophylaxis (updated in 2004 and 2006, respectively), which vary somewhat from those of the AHA.

In Canada, dentists using either the current British or American guidelines may provide justifiable patient care. As such, CDSBC encourages dentists to reference current guidelines published by these and other organizations including the Canadian and American Dental Associations. Professional judgment should also be relied upon to determine the most appropriate course of action for individual patients.

It would be appropriate for the dentist to consult with the patient's cardiologist or other treating physician before initiating treatment.

Click on the links below for information sources about this topic.

Note: CDSBC does not officially endorse these sources.