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How does a lung transplant affect dental work?

You may have received a dental consultation during your pre-transplant workup to be sure that any necessary dental work would be completed before transplantation. If so, it is not necessary to have routine dental work performed for at least six months following transplant. This includes having your teeth cleaned. However, if you have tooth or gum pain, you should see your dentist immediately.

After transplantation, you need to take an antibiotic when you have dental work done, including cleaning and polishing. You can obtain a letter from the transplant office for your dentist regarding your antibiotic prescription.

It is extremely important that you practice good oral hygiene after your transplant. Brush your teeth once or twice a day. You should floss your teeth after transplant, but flossing can irritate your gums and cause bleeding, so be gentle.

If you dental work was not completed before transplantation, you must see your dentist for an evaluation within the first few months after your return home. Follow the procedure outlined below when you visit the dentist.
  • Make an appointment
  • Have the dentist examine your mouth and teeth, but do not allow either the dentist or the hygienist to pick, clean, or polish your teeth. If this is necessary, antibiotics must be taken. 
  • Have the dentist take x-rays, if necessary. 
  • Schedule all needed appointments as closely together as possible when your dentist knows what work needs to be done.
Your prednisone dose should be as low as possible when dental work is done to reduce the possibility of infection and bleeding, and to enhance the healing process. But do not avoid dental checkups just because your prednisone dose is still high.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.