True or False: After Heart Surgery, Patients Should Pre-Medicate Before Seeing The Dentist

Don’t be so quick to answer “true” to the above question.

Here’s why…

Until recently, it was recommended that patients with heart valve disorders receive short-term antibiotics prior to receiving dental treatment to prevent the risk of infective endocarditis (IE).

Now, however, the American Heart Association (AHA) has revised those guidelines. The AHA now suggests that many patients who have taken prophylactic antibiotics routinely in the past no longer need them.

But… Don’t be so quick to answer “false” to the statement above either.

Still, there are conflicting views on whether or not to pre-medicate for patients having had heart valve replacement or heart valve repair surgeries.

As you can read, during my most recent annual check-up (following my aortic valve replacement), Dr. Vaughn Starnes suggested I continue to pre-medicate with Amoxicillin prior to seeing my dentist.

It’s really no big deal. I’d rather be safe than sorry, right?

I thought you might want to know about this if you are going to need dental work and heart valve surgery in the future.

Keep on tickin!

Adam Pick
Written by Adam Pick

Adam Pick is a patient, author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery and the founder of

To learn how Adam has helped millions of people with heart valve disease, watch Adam's video, subscribe to his free newsletter, or visit his Facebook, or Twitter pages.

  • John T. Smith

    Hello Adam! I am a 72 year old male. Learned of my leaking mitral valve in 1948. Dr. says it time to do it. In 05 it it was at 55% now it at 30%. Will be going to cleveland in may. I have your book read. I plan on geting in rehabilitation as soon as i can.I plan on be back on the ball field in the fall. Will have mitra lvalve replaced and the aortic valve repaired. Maybe a pacemaker. Would like one of the[Incision shields] Tks John

  • Hi, Adam,

    This is like taking the person with clinical depression off Lithium because the signs of depression went away on lithium.

    My surgeon said not to even *go* to the dentist unless it was absolutely necessary.

    i had a slight infection in the hospital after my surgery. In 11.5 years, I have always been very obsessive about antibiotics. If I get a cold, i get a prescription for antibiotics to protect my valve–or, at least, I used to, before I discovered Echinecea. Now I just take a bunch of that.

    I have never had my valve infected, and I would rather keep it that way 🙂

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