Question

Heart Surgeries

Should I have dental work done before or after heart surgery?

A Answers (1)

  • AAllan Stewart, MD, Cardiothoracic Surgery, answered on behalf of Columbia University Department of Surgery

    Sometimes dental work will be required prior to heart surgery, especially if patients have any tooth decay, loose teeth, or abscesses. The reason is that bacteria may cause infection of the graft material placed in the heart. It is important for you to tell your surgeon about any dental pain or loose teeth, before undergoing heart surgery.

    Dental work after heart surgery is fine, but your cardiologist will often recommend pre-procedural antibiotics to protect the new graft or new valve.

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