Following a dental implant surgery, antibiotics may be prescribed to help prevent possible infection. At Belleville Dental Care, our dentists want to help ensure our patients understand their antibiotics as part of their treatment plan.
What Are Antibiotics?
Antibiotics are medicines that are used to fight bacterial infections. They work by killing dangerous bacteria or preventing them from reproducing until your immune system is strong enough to fight off the rest of the infection. When they are prescribed and taken properly, antibiotics can help cure or prevent the spread of disease in most individuals.
Antibiotics Have Specific Uses
Contrary to popular belief, antibiotics do not fight infections caused by viruses like common colds, the flu, or bronchitis. Every time a patient uses antibiotics, bacteria are reduced, but some resistant germs can also grow and multiply. These resistant germs can spread and cause antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria over time. Moreover, repeated and improper use of antibiotics are believed to be primary causes of recent increases in drug-resistant bacteria in the United States and around the world.
How Belleville Dental Care Uses Antibiotics
Here at our dental implant practice, we prescribe antibiotics to manage infections in and around the mouth. These infections are usually caused by bacteria, so antibiotics are the first line of defense to fight them off. Some doctors also use antibiotics after oral surgery as a preventive measure or to treat toothaches. We find that they are less effective as a toothache cure for some patients, so they are most often used after dental implant placement or other oral surgery.
Three Safety Tips For Antibiotic Use
If you are taking antibiotics, keep the following considerations in mind:
- Do not share your antibiotics. Antibiotics are prescribed for specific purposes. Your doctor will typically check for potential adverse interactions or drug allergies before prescribing any medications. Sharing with another person could be dangerous and even deadly.
- Be sure to finish your entire prescription. You may be tempted to stop taking your prescription if your condition is improving and you feel better. However, there is an important reason why specific amounts of medication are prescribed. If you stop too soon, bacteria could survive and cause significant problems.
- Do not save bottles for reuse. There is also an important reason for this tip. Antibiotics become less effective or completely ineffective if they are stored for long periods. Sometimes even a few months can ruin their ability to fight bacteria. If you are not sure, check with your local pharmacy or doctor’s office for appropriate disposal of your expired medications.
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