Drs. Oz and Roizen: Antibiotics, hip replacement and dental work…
Q: I had a hip replacement last year and was told that I need to take antibiotics before I go to the dentist. Really?! — Katie K., Brookings, S.D.
A: It’s not only a good idea, it’s essential. Reputable dentists won’t work on you if they know you’ve had an implant and refuse the antibiotic. During dental procedures, bacteria living in your mouth — and there are tens of thousands of them — can spread into your blood and lodge on the surface of artificial things, like hip, knee or heart-valve replacements.
Some of these newer replacement parts have embedded antibiotics, but you still need antibiotics for a dental procedure.
The immune system can’t “see” bacteria resting on inorganic (ceramic, metal or plastic) implants, so no white blood cells come to attack and kill them off.
They thrive, and you can get a whopper of an infection. Also, over time, a bacterial film can build up in and around the replacement joint, and that can begin to loosen the joint and cause other problems.
Get a prescription for the antibiotics from your orthopedic surgeon or dentist.