New Dental Treatment Guidelines For Heart Patients

Armen Hareyan's picture

Minnesota Dental Association wants dental patients with heart disease to know that most heart patients will no longer need to take antibiotics before receiving dental treatment.

New guidelines have been adopted by both the AmericanHeart Association and the American Dental Association which should significantly reduce the number of patients needing to take a course of antibiotics before a dental appointment.


The new guidelines are based on scientific research showing that the risks of taking preventive antibiotics outweigh the risks for most heart patients. The new guidelines developed by the American Heart Association and adopted by the American Dental Association recommend antibiotic treatment shortly before a dental visit only for those heart patients at highest risk.

"This is very good news for most heart patients and should simplify dental visits for many seniors and others with more common heart conditions," said President of the Minnesota Dental Association, Dr. Richard Wiberg, whose practice is located in Roseville. "We want patients with heart conditions to check carefully to see if they no longer need to take a course of antibiotics before a dental cleaning or other treatment."

Heart patients who routinely took antibiotics before a dental visit in the past but no longer need to are those with rheumatic heart disease, calcified aortic stenosis and mitral valve prolapse, bicuspid valve disease as well as those with certain congenital heart conditions such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Antibiotics before a dental visit are now recommended only for those heart Patients with artificial heart valves, heart transplant patients who develop cardiac valve problems, certain congenital heart disease, recipients of an artificial patch to repair a congenital defect within the past six months or patients with a history of IE.