Patients who have joint replacement surgery can be at risk for developing infections around the implanted joint. That is why it is critical to avoid situations that may put you at risk, such as invasive dental work.
Once a strain of bacteria has affected your joint replacement implants, it cannot be easily removed. For this reason, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) suggests the following tips to keep in mind after a total joint replacement:
- Get a medical alert card and take antibiotics whenever there is the possibility of a bacterial infection, such as when you have dental work.
- Notify your dentist that you have a joint implant and let your doctor know if your dentist schedules an extraction, periodontal work, dental implant, or root canal work.
- The AAOS recommends antibiotics before major dental work, but consult with your dentist or your orthopedic surgeon first.