How Long After Knee Replacement Can I Have Dental Work (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Six to Eight Weeks

Deep Infection after Total Joint Replacement can be a significant, severe, and expensive consequence, needing a longer hospital stay, several surgical procedures, and long-term antibiotic usage in certain circumstances.

Bacteria that typically reside in the mouth or oral cavity are considered to be responsible for a tiny percentage of such infections. It is widely understood that oral germs enter the circulation during dental treatment or even aggressive tooth cleaning/flossing. These newly “circulating” bacteria can lodge themselves on the edge of a joint replacement implant, where they cling tightly to the metal and proliferate, potentially leading to an infection that is difficult for the body to remove. 

How Long After Knee Replacement Can I Have Dental Work?

DurationDental Work
After a Couple of DaysCan consume Pain control or Narcotic medicines
After three weeksConsultation and Medicines
After Six WeeksCan undergo Dental work

In this piece, we’ll discuss why you should avoid visiting the dentist following surgery for at least six to eight weeks.

So, what exactly is the situation with knee replacement and dental care? There is no definite scientific solution – only advice from various organizations. Because we are talking about a relatively tiny number of infections in a very large number of people, doing real scientific research to investigate this topic would be quite challenging even for medical researchers because of recent contradictory signals from several medical and dental bodies

Some doctors recommend having your teeth cleaned and any other dental work completed a few months before your surgery. As following a knee replacement, most surgeons advise avoiding invasive dental procedures for 8-12 weeks, while few of them suggest avoiding dental treatments for two years. This lowers the risk of germs from your bloodstream infecting your new prosthetic knee. An invasive dental operation such as tooth extraction, periodontal procedures, implant insertion, root canal, or preventive cleaning may still pose a danger beyond this time period.

It’s true that germs abound in our mouths. As a result, there has always been a fear that germs may enter the circulation during a dental therapy

Bacteria might potentially move via the bloodstream to the location of a prosthetic device, such as a knee or hip implant, and cause an infection. If the infection undermined the bone around the implant, the patient may need another joint replacement.

Why Does One Wait For So Long?

Every year, approximately 1 million complete joint replacement operations are conducted. In most cases, the new prosthetic knee provides considerable pain relief, and patients may return to their normal lives soon with regular physical therapy. However, in a few of the cases, individuals acquire a severe infection.

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Bacteria can either enter the joint during the surgery, even if it is performed in a clean operating environment or afterward when the incision heals or a third possibility is that germs already existing in the patient’s body migrate through the blood to the prosthetic site. This is the sort of infection that physicians and dentists are collaborating to avoid.

If germs from a dental illness – most commonly gum disease or periodontitis – are present, they can migrate from the mouth to the susceptible tissues impacted by surgery. As a result, it is extremely advised to preserve this interval between knee transplant and dental therapy as long as possible.

However, many medical specialists, including the chief of dentistry at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, believe the danger is speculative because there is no evidence that dental treatments cause implant infections.

Despite this, many medical professionals believed that certain safeguards were necessary.

So, this leads us to the fact that a person may wait for an adequate amount of time for any kind of dental treatment after a knew transplant, and in case of an emergency consult your doctor and take antibiotics an hour before any substantial dental procedure (fillings, root canal therapy, or thorough scrubbing – anything that may cause bleeding).

Conclusion

When you read about the benefits and drawbacks of dental treatment after total knee replacement, it might be quite perplexing. The best-case situation appears to be avoiding normal cleaning for several months after total knee replacement and having preventative treatment done before to total knee replacement, then hoping for no further dental concerns after your total knee replacement.

Foods that might damage your teeth or existing fillings should be avoided. Avoid doing things like cracking open nuts with your teeth, avoiding sweets, and eating more soft meals for a few months (some say the first 3 months, others the first 2years) following surgery.

In an emergency, however, I would urge that all joint replacement patients be given antibiotics an hour before any substantial dental procedure (fillings, root canal therapy, or deep cleaning – anything where there is a risk of bleeding).

References

  1. https://bvajournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1136/vr.148.7.198
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2296368/