FAQ: Do I need an antibiotic in connection with my regular dental cleaning (prophylaxis)?
Some people need to take antibiotics in connection with their regular dental cleaning (prophylaxis) due to the existence of other medical conditions that might allow bacteria to infect a certain area of the body, especially the heart. For these patients, antibiotics are usually taken by the patient one hour before the appointment and then again at a designated time after the appointment is finished.
During a dental cleaning (prophylaxis), bacteria is removed from under the gum-line, this bacteria may get into the bloodstream where it can accumulate and do damage to areas of the body that have been previously compromised (i.e., a heart valve due to mitral valve prolapse (MVP) or a recently completed knee replacement). This is why it is very important to inform your dentist of any changes in your medical history, including allergies to any antibiotics or other types of medications.