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Keeping You Safe Before Treatment


Premedication with an antibiotic prior to dental treatment is sometimes necessary for a number of medical conditions including heart, joint replacements (knee, hip, shoulder, etc) implants (breast, etc), some types of chemotherapy treatments for cancer to name a few.These regimens are always changing.

It is very important to keep us updated on “any changes” in your health history so that we may provide the best and safest care for you.

Bacterial Endocarditis

During dental treatment, bleeding sometimes occurs. As a result, bacteria from the mouth can possibly enter the bloodstream and work their way to the heart. This presents a risk for some persons with cardiac abnormalities because the bacteria may cause bacterial endocarditis, a serious inflammation of the heart valves or tissues.Certain heart conditions are more often associated with endocarditis than others.

To determine if an existing heart condition poses a risk, your dentist needs complete health information on your medical history form. The form should also include the name and address of your family physician or cardiologist as well as the names and dosages of all medications that you take.

Tell Your Dentist – Do any of these apply to you?

If you have any of these conditions, if you were diagnosed with other heart ailments, or if your health status has changed since your last dental visit, tell your dentist.

  • Recent heart surgery within past six months
  • Pacemaker
  • Within six month of vascular surgery (replaced artery)
  • Artificial heart valve
  • History of rheumatic fever
  • History of heart murmur (mitral valve prolapse)
  • Previous bacterial endocarditis
  • Systemic pulmonary shunt
  • Congenital heart defect
  • Acquired valvular dysfunction


The American Heart Association routinely publishes guidelines for physician and dentists so that they can protect patients who are at risk for developing bacterial endocarditis.The guidelines, which the American Dental Association helped develop, recommend the use of antibiotics prior to dental treatment, based on the patient’s medical condition and on the treatment to be performed.

Your dentist or physician may prescribe antibiotics for dental procedures (link to other services page) that would result in bleeding from the gums or mucous membranes in the mouth. Such procedures could include professional teeth cleaning, incision and drainage of infected oral tissue, some types of infections, extractions and some surgeries that involve the maxillary sinus.

Use As Directed

If you are taking new or different medicine (prescription or over-the-counter drugs) since your last dental appointment, advise your dentist so your medical records can be updated. If you have developed allergies to any medicine since your last visit, advise your dentist.

Your dentist may consult with your physician or cardiologist to determine which antibiotics you should take before your dental visit. Your prescription should be filled before you next visit. Carefully follow instructions for the medication’s dosage and frequency.

Don’t try to stretch the useful life of your medicine. Always check the bottle’s expiration date. Prescriptions that have passed their prime will not help you. Dispose of them promptly; and properly.

Should you have any questions or require additional information, please feel free to call us at 607-734-2045 or click to contact us directly.

Chemung Family Dental
1007 Broadway St.
Elmira, NY 14904

Monday 7:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday 7:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday 7:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday 7:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Friday Closed
Saturday Closed
Sunday Closed