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Back surgery and the dentist

GweniverreGGweniverre Posts: 22
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:41 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Okay so I have to go to the dentist because I need to get a filling and a crown done. Found about them about 4 weeks before surgery and could not get it done in that time. However, I am now 3 months post op 2 level fusion TLIF w/laminectomy and hardware. The dentist says that I need to be on at least a 1 time strong dose of antibiotics before they will do the work becuase the bacteria they 'stire up' will go straight to the hardware in my back. I am already nervous about the dentist to begin with, on top of that trying to lay in an uncomfortable chair after this surgery, and now being nervous I will get an infection where my hardware is at because of the dentist. Has anyone else been told of, or heard of this? Any advise would be appreciated!


  • Gwennie, can you send me that article as well? I really need to get my wisdom teeth removed & some other mouth-work and I'm nervous now too.
  • I'm interested in the dental antibiotic info as well.


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  • Last November, I had oral surgery on two teeth (wisdom tooth and the molar right next to it).

    The Oral Surgeon had me take a mega dose of antibiotics prior to the oral surgery and I remained on the antiobiotics for 10 days following the surgery.

    Prior to my surgery, the Oral Surgeon contacted my Neurosurgeon to ask about the antibiotics. My Neurosurgeon told him (and also me, following the oral surgery) that I will always need to take antibiotics for any kind of dental treatments, including fillings. This is due to our having hardware now and to keep it free from any infection that might travel through our bloodstream.

    I took a rolled up towel and pillow for my procedure. I was in the chair approximately 45 minutes and I was a little bit sore for a few days in my back area.

    It's good to take care of your teeth, so they don't get any worse.

    I wish you the best on your dental visit and please let us know how you do.

    Thinking of you,

  • There are many schools of thought by dentists and surgeons concerning pre-medication of antibiotics prior to a dental procedure.
    When I had my knee replacement in 2000, my surgeon wanted me on premeds for dental procedures for 3 years. After my spinal fusion in 2007, I was told to be on them for 5 years.
    I can only say that having a spinal infection is a horrible experience(my infection was not dental related) and taking antibiotics before a denatl procedure is really only a minor inconvenience.

    Emergency surgery in March of 2006 for spinal infection of L 2 and L 3. During surgery, discovered I had Cauda Equina Syndrome. Spine became unstable after surgery and had 360 fusion with 10 pedicle screws, plates and rods in April of 2007.
  • My Ns always RX's 1,000 mgs of cephalexin b4 my dentist visits. I take one an hour b4 & the other right after.

    He said I should always do this now, to prevent any hardware infections, etc.

    Better to be safe than sorry. Your NS can advise you as to the amount & length of time you need to take them. I waited over a year to have my 1st dental appt after my fusion & luckliy I had no need for more than a cleaning, etc.

    But for more invasive procedures, I would think that antibiotics would be prudent.

    Yes, it's uncomfy to lie there in that chair--all your weight is transfered to your lumbar area...I had to sit upright a few times during my exam, & used some meds/ice after. But MRI's are worse b/c then you can't move at all...! If you tell them about your surgery, I;m sure they'll make you as comfy as possible.

    Good luck---I hope you're in & out quickly!

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  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,082
    It is common to have antibiotics prescibed for dental work. For years there have been debates over whether it's necessary. At one time they said "once you have any metal in you, then you must always have antibiotics before dental procedures fro the rest of your life". They've relaxed that a bit. Some say that for standard dental cleaning and fillings antibiotics are not needed, but any oral surgery does require them. I'd go with whatever your dentist suggests but also ask your surgeon his/her opinion.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 

  • I'd be interested to read that article too, please.

    This is something completely new that I've learnt on here.
  • Thanks everyone for your information. My surgeon said no need for antibiotics but my dentist says yes. Go figure! So now I think I will just ask my primary care doctor what he thinks.
    I did a little 'research' on the internet and most studies say that you only need the antibiotics if you have had a sinovial joint replacement and no for other types of hardware. They state the risk of reaction to the antibiotic is more likely than having any type of infection. And take too many unneccasary antibiotics is not good for you. Decisions, decisions, sighhhhhhhhhhhhh
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