Do people with artificial hips and knees need antibiotics?

Question: I had a knee replacement two months ago at a hospital in Ontario and was provided with literature about what to expect and what to do after the surgery. Included in it was a caution to request an antibiotic prescription from my dentist for any dental procedures – including getting my teeth cleaned – for the rest of my life. The hospital literature said that without antibiotics, my new joint could become infected. But when I recently visited my dentist, he said antibiotics weren’t necessary for people with knee or hip implants. Who is right?

Answer: Your dentist is correct, according to the best available scientific evidence. But patients have good reason to be confused because of conflicting messages from different medical and dental associations in recent years.


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