IMPLANTS--are Antibiotics necessary?

Recently a patient (physician) who was scheduled for the placement of dental implants, asked whether antibiotics were necessary either before and/or after the dental implant surgery. I confidently said that antibiotics were not necessary,

But are antibiotics necessary for dental implant surgery?

A retrospective study was undertaken to evaluate the outcome of dental implant surgery performed without antibiotic prophylaxis. The 437 consecutively treated patients had a total of 736 implants placed. Other than anti-inflammatory therapy, no antibiotics were administered. Second stage surgery was performed 4-6 months later to assess the healing.

A postoperative infection was defined as purulence, a fistula in the surgical area, plus either pain or tenderness, local swelling or fever.

Results- There were 5 early infections o ccurring within one week of the implant placement and 3 late infections occurring more than a week after the placement of the implant. Additionally there were implant failures secondary to nonosseointegration and required removal. The survival rate of implant failures was similar to the rates published in the literature when various antibiotic regiments were used.

The findings indicate the use of antibiotics for implant procedures is no more beneficial than not using them.

The risk of infection after surgery depends upon several factors, including the surgeon's skills, asepsis maintained, and the patient's health. Although my patients use chlorohexidine oral rinse before implants are placed, I do n ot routinely prescribe antibiotics. Most patients having dental implant surgery are health persons who do not require antibiotic coverage.

Please to not hesitate to contact our office if either you or your patients have have any questions regarding the placement of dental implants.

Your comments or questions, as always, are appreciated. Please phone our office at 617.731.6060 or E-mail me at www.DrFine.com.

Gerald S. Fine D.D.S.