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Supporting Your Practice

Update on Antibiotic Prophylaxis in the Dental Office

The prescription of antibiotic prophylaxis prior to dental treatment has long been something of a controversial topic. And although not as widespread a practice as it once was, it is still necessary in patients with certain risk factors for bacterial infection.

In this episode of CDA Oasis Live, Dr. John O’Keefe, Director of Knowledge Networks CDA, invites Dr. PJ Murphy, Clinical Assistant Professor at UBC, to unpack the use of antibiotic prophylaxis in the dental office. Citing recent guidelines published by the Canadian Dental Association, Dr. Murphy addresses common clinical scenarios in the antibiotic prophylaxis debate, including cardiac conditions and patients with prosthetic joint replacements.

He also troubleshoots the management of complications at the dental office, such as patients who arrive without taking antibiotic prophylaxis, and patients who are already taking an antibiotic for another procedure.

We hope you find the conversation useful. We welcome your thoughts, questions and/or suggestions about this post and other topics. Leave a comment in the box below or send us your feedback by email.

Until next time!
CDA Oasis Team


A Quick Update on Antibiotic Prophylaxis in the Dental Practice (PDF)

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  1. VR November 19, 2020

    Excellent and informative presentation!

    Question: I thought previous guidance said we are allowed to give the Atb prophylaxis up to a couple of hours after the appointment? Could you please clarify?

    Thanks for clarifying the communication with the physician should they be insistant on the Atb delivery!

    1. VR November 25, 2020


      Could someone please reply to my question?


    2. Lorne Berman December 2, 2020

      Yes, I too believed that there was a “window of opportunity” of an hour or so, to administer the “missed” antibiotic just ahead or soon after the procedure had started. In fact, on Page 6 of Dr. Murphy’s posted CDA guidelines, there is a statement that says that there IS that possibility within 2 hours after the procedure, however it states that this scenario is only to be used in emergency situations, but not for the convenience of the office or the dentist.

  2. Dr Ian Erwood November 26, 2020

    I have a healthy 55 yr old Male patient who had a prosthetic hip replacement 2 weeks ago. He has and abcessed 27. Which requires either endodontic therapy or extraction. The Orthopedic Surgeon has told the patient no Dental Procedures for 6 weeks. How would you advise this patient?


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