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For decades, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommended that patients with certain heart conditions take antibiotics shortly before dental treatment. New guidelines have been issued: Now most of these patients no longer need short-term antibiotics as a preventive measure before their dental treatment.
The guidelines say patients who have taken prophylactic antibiotics routinely in the past but no longer need them include people with:
- mitral valve prolapse
- rheumatic heart disease
- bicuspid valve disease
- calcified aortic stenosis
- congenital heart conditions such as ventricular septal defect, atrial septal defect and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
The new guidelines are aimed at patients who would have the greatest danger of a bad outcome if they developed a heart infection.
However, Preventive antibiotics are still advised for patients with:
- artificial heart valves
- a history of infective endocarditis
- certain specific, serious congenital (present from birth) heart conditions, including
- unrepaired or incompletely repaired cyanotic congenital heart disease, including those with palliative shunts and conduits
- a completely repaired congenital heart defect with prosthetic material or device, whether placed by surgery or by catheter intervention, during the first six months after the procedure
- any repaired congenital heart defect with residual defect at the site or adjacent to the site of a prosthetic patch or a prosthetic device