Monthly Archives: January 2014

Conflicting advice about mini implant procedure

I’ve had a  hip replacement in the past, which is for some reason affecting my dental treatment. I want to get two mini implants to help stabalize my denture.  One dentist I spoke to said there is no problem. The other said he would do it, but only if I took a course of antibiotics first. I know I could just go to the guy that says no problem, but I want to make sure I am not putting myself at risk by doing so.

Annette N. – Billings, Montana


There is a reason for the confusion. Until a couple of years ago the Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons said that prior to any invasive procedure (including dental cleanings believe it or not), a patient with a hip replacement must complete a course of antibiotics before the procedure. The reason for the precaution is the danger of bacteria getting introduced in the bloodstream and infecting the hip joints which are high risk.

Recently, though, both the Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the American Dental Association came out saying there is not enough evidence to support the necessity of the antibiotics, essentially leaving the dentist to decide what he thinks is best for his or her patient.

In your case, I would weigh the risks and make a personal decision. Then you can go with the dentist that you’re comfortable with.  Know that there is always a risk of infection at the site of a dental implant. Infection at the surgical site, is one of the reasons for dental implant failure. So, that may factor into your decision.

This blog is brought to you by Libertyville Dentist Dr. David Potts.

Hurting wisdom tooth

I have a back wisdom tooth that is hurting. I can’t see anything wrong with it.  I don’t have a dentist, but I’ve never had a toothache before. Does this need to be seen or can I just wait and see what happens?

Pat E. – Boise, ID


I think this needs to be seen, and as soon as possible. If you don’t have a dentist you can do a search for an emergency dentist. They are generally willing to see new patients the same day you call if it is an issue like you are writing regarding.

You don’t want to leave an infection in your wisdom tooth untreated. It can lead to very serious complications. I recommend you get this looked at as soon as possible. The infection can spread to your jaw and even your brain.

This blog is brought to you by Libertyville Dentist Dr. David Potts.