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Taking an antibiotic before a dental procedure can seem a bit like putting the cart before the horse. Yet for some, this preventative measure, also called “antibiotic prophylaxis,” can speed the healing process as well as prevent any infection from developing as a result of the procedure.


Bacteria live inside everyone’s mouth. For most, the bacteria don’t cause any problems, but for some, if the bacteria get into an opening created during a procedure and enter the bloodstream, they can more readily cause infection. Pre-emptively giving the body a chance to fight off infection means the patient won’t have to worry about any illness or additional issues developing as a result of the procedure.


Not everyone requires prophylactic antibiotics, and your dentist will study your medical history to determine whether to prescribe them. By and large, those with artificial heart valves, certain heart conditions or those who have had a heart transplant certainly benefit from antibiotics prior to undergoing any dental procedure.