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A new study published in the March issue of the Annals of Thoracic Surgery has revealed that the risks involved with cardiac surgery can be increased by the removal of an infected tooth prior the surgery. Often infected teeth are removed prior cardiac surgery to decrease the risk of infection spreading during surgery or endocarditis, which is an inflammation of the heart. While this sort of procedure is usually considered minor and carries few inherent risks, researchers have discovered that patients that are about to have cardiac surgery are much more likely to experience major adverse effects including heart attack and death.

More About The Study

This particular study examined the cases of over 200 different patients who had a dental extraction before their planned cardiac surgery. These cases all took place between the years 2003 and 2013. The time between the dental extraction and the cardiac surgery was roughly a week. A dental extraction, even if the tooth is infected, usually only carries a 1% chance of death or heart attack. It is widely considered a minor procedure, routinely performed with few negative side effects. However, in studying this particular group of patients researchers found that the risks of adverse outcomes were actually much higher. In the observed group the risk of heart attack, stroke or kidney failure increased to 8% with 3% of patients dying.

Although the results of the researchers analysis reveal the dangers of having a dental extraction prior heart surgery, researchers do not feel comfortable recommending that patients put off extraction until after surgery. Instead they encourage dentists and patients alike to evaluate the risks of individual cases, taking into account all risks and circumstances. A patients overall health should always be considered when deciding upon the best course of action or whether or not a possible procedure is right for them. The benefit of extraction should be weighed against the risk of mortality or other adverse effects.

This particular team of researchers is also campaigning against the continued use of antibiotics to prevent infections like endocarditis. This is because overuse of antibiotics has been proven more dangerous and likely than infection. Researchers have also found that the amount of bacteria released when brushing ones teeth or flossing is comparable to the amount released during a dental procedure, which has previously been blamed for post-procedure infections.

Shared Responsibility

Remember that you should always be open and vocal about your medical history and overall health when speaking with your dentist. While you might not think that something is pertinent it very well could be crucial for your dentist to know. You should make sure that your dentist is the kind of professional who takes this kind of responsibility upon himself. But remember that you yourself are also in charge of your own treatment.

Call Dr. DAlfonso of Lakeway Cosmetic Dentistry if youre looking for a dentist who is ready for open communication and truly cares about your overall health and well being. Schedule an appointment today!