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Patients with Artificial Joints

Ask the Expert ForumCategory: PharmacologyPatients with Artificial Joints
guestuser Staff asked 11 years ago

I was under the impression that a medical clearance and possible pre-meds were required for pt’s with anything artificial in their body – shunts, artificial valves, metal screws in bone etc. When I asked the new dentist I am working with whether or not we required a pre-med and or medical clearance for someone with screws in their jaw from jaw surgery; I was told “absolutely not”. Where can I find more information regarding this?

1 Answers
Ann Eshenaur Spolarich, RDH, PhD, FSCDH Staff answered 5 years ago

You can find very detailed information about this by looking at the ADA guidelines for antibiotic premedication in patients with artificial devices. We do not premedicate anyone with artificial pins, plates or screws: they are made of body-compatible titanium (like dental implants). The AHA guidelines clearly specify that there are now only 4 major categories of cardiac risk which require premedication, one of which is for artificial heart valves and AV shunts (which are typically in the arm for patients undergoing dialysis). Be sure to read the AHA guidelines for antibiotic premedication, as well as the ADA guidelines for patients with prosthetic devices.
Here is the link to the American Heart Association guidelines
Here is the link to the ADA website regarding patients with artificial joints.

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