Dental Infections in Emergency Medicine Follow-up

Updated: Jan 17, 2023
  • Author: Lynnus F Peng, MD; Chief Editor: Jeff Burgess, DDS, MSD  more...
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Further Inpatient Care

A study that investigated the determinants of the length of hospitalization due to acute odontogenic maxillofacial infections (AOMIs) from 2009 to 2013 found that the most important determinants regarding longer hospitalization were indicators of infection severity such as an extension of the odontogenic infection and the need for an extraoral incision to drain the infection. [15]


Inpatient & Outpatient Medications

Prophylaxis controversy continues regarding who should have antibiotic prophylaxis for dental procedures and which antibiotics to use.

Current recommendations by the American Heart Association 2007 for dental, oral, respiratory tract, or esophageal procedures, if the patient has one of the following conditions [4] :

  • Prosthetic cardiac valve

  • Previous infective endocarditis

  • Congenital heart disease (CHD)

  • Unrepaired cyanotic CHD, including palliative shunts and conduits

  • Completely repaired congenital heart defect with prosthetic material or device, whether placed by surgery or by catheter intervention, during the first 6 months after the procedure

  • Repaired CHD with residual defects at the site or adjacent to the site of a prosthetic patch or prosthetic device (which inhibit endothelialization)

  • Cardiac transplantation recipients who develop cardiac valvulopathy

Recommendations for dental, oral, respiratory tract, and esophageal procedures for patients with one of the conditions listed above include the following:

  • For adults, administer amoxicillin 2 g PO 1 hour before procedure. Administer amoxicillin 50 mg/kg PO for pediatric patients. If by IV, administer ampicillin 2 g for adults and 50 mg/kg for children within 30 minutes before the procedure.

  • For patients allergic to penicillin, give clindamycin 600 mg PO/IV 1 hour before the procedure. For pediatric patients, administer clindamycin 20 mg/kg PO/IV. Alternatively, azithromycin or clarithromycin 500 mg PO 1 hour before the procedure may be administered for adults and 15 mg/kg PO may be administered for pediatric patients.

Prophylactic regimens are for patients with prosthetic heart valves, previous bacterial endocarditis, congenital cyanotic heart disease, pulmonary shunt placement, cardiac myopathies, acquired valvular disease, and mitral prolapse with regurgitation. [4]

  • Only 25% of patients who should receive prophylactic antibiotics actually receive them.

  • With 100% compliance, estimates suggest that the incidence of bacterial endocarditis would be reduced 3-6%.