To Premed or Not to Premed - That is the Question


Traditionally, it was recommended for patients with certain heart conditions and joint replacements to premed before dental procedures with an antibiotic. However, recent studies have suggested that requiring premed across the board may be a bit of overkill.

According to the American Orthopedic Association and the American Heart Association, taking an antibiotic before dental procedures may become a thing of the past. So, to premed or not premed? That is the question.

Patients with heart murmurs, MVP, Artificial Heart Valves, Heart Transplant, and Artificial Joints come in and out of the practice daily. Does the patient decide to stop taking the premed? Not necessarily and it’s not a wise decision without their physician's guidance for many reasons. For a patient to safely stop taking this medicine, the doctor who prescribed the medication in the first place must give the authorization, and you must keep this authorization in the patient's file.

While it may be perfectly acceptable for the majority of patients to stop with the premed regimen, a select few may not be able to stop. This includes patients who have diabetes, have a suppressed immune system, or any other condition in which their doctor insists they continue with the medication before treatment.

As dental professionals, we shouldn’t make the determination regarding a patient’s premed. Contacting the physician who prescribed the medication is paramount as they are the professional who should be making this decision. 

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