315 East Northfield Road, Suite 2E
Livingston, NJ 07039
Tinkelman, Carl L D.D.S.
30 Jackson Rd # C2
Medford, NJ, 08055-9281
Christopher Esposito , D.D.S. DMD PC
133 Jackson Road Suite A
Medford, NJ, 8055
Moskowitz, Marc E D.D.S.
2816 Morris Ave # 19
Union, NJ, 07083-4842
Leff, Laurence D.D.S.
460 Bloomfield Ave # 311
Montclair, NJ, 07042-3552
Dentists prescribe prophylactic (to prevent the spread of disease) antibiotics before dental treatment for people with certain medical conditions. The American Heart Association, the American Dental Association, and the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons have recommended the guidelines for preventive antibiotics for these medical conditions. The current guidelines were developed for patient well-being, as well as in consideration of the current concern regarding the overuse of antibiotics. The guidelines outline specific medical conditions and provide examples of which dental procedures indicate the need for prophylactic antibiotics.
The risk of infective endocarditis (infection and inflammation of the lining of the heart and its valves) is increased with dental procedures that cause bleeding and the potential release of oral bacteria into the bloodstream of people with certain medical conditions. Individuals who have certain congenital or acquired heart defects, as well as some conditions or abnormalities of the heart, have an increased chance of a bacterial infection.
The link between dental procedures and infective endocarditis is controversial. Not all dental procedures require the use of antibiotic prophylaxis. Dental procedures that have minimal potential to cause bleeding are considered low risk for infective endocarditis. Antibiotic prophylaxis may be indicated for invasive dental procedures that are likely to cause bleeding and release of oral bacteria in the bloodstream.
Also, the release of oral bacteria into the bloodstream appears to increase the risk of developing an infection around a prosthetic joint in people with a depressed immune system. Use of prophylaxis antibiotics is recommended for individuals with total joint replacements who have certain other health conditions.
Antibiotic prophylaxis also can be prescribed for circumstances other than prevention of infective endocarditis and prosthetic joint infections. Some other conditions or situations that may indicate antibiotic prophylaxis include in-dwelling catheters, hemodialysis patients with arteriovenous shunts, shunts for hydrocephalus, oral surgical or operative procedures (depending on the patient's immune system), insulin-dependent diabetes, or diabetics whose disease is poorly controlled.
By Denise J. Fedele, DMD, MS
Your dentist's biggest concern is your dental health. Teeth are a priceless possession. Maintaining them should never have to take a back seat to details like dental costs or insurance coverage.
Your dentist's patient financing policy is probably pretty basic: somehow, they'll find a way that lets them perform the work you need now, rather than put it off for money reasons. Simply put, they're there to help.
As a patient, you should receive a proposed treatment plan that's right for you. You should also receive a complete description of what's needed and a dental fees estimate - so you know what, when, and how much - right from the start.
If you're covered by dental insurance, your dentist's staff will work to obtain the maximum benefit your plan allows. They may even elect to spread your treatment over two "insurance years" to expand your coverage. Every plan and patient, of course, is different.
If you're not covered by insurance your dentist can still find a way to get you the dental work you need done. Credit cards, a dental loan, and monthly payments are all dental financing options you can explore in tailoring a program that fits your dental needs.
Your dentist realizes that dental costs will always play a part in the decisions you make together. But cost alone should never prevent you from seeking the dentistry you need early on, before the problem gets worse - and more expensive.