Pre Surgery Dental Check and Routine Dental Hygiene

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Elgato

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 7, 2014
Messages
53
Location
Tucson, AZ USA
As part of pre-surgery prep the Cleveland wants a dental exam for possible infection as well as a form completed by the dentist.
The local surgeons never mentioned it but I think its is great that they cover every possible detail.
Has anyone had the pre-surgery dental inspection?
The first dentist I visited said that all that would be needed was bite-wing x-rays and an exam. When I arrived they decided bite wings were not adequate and
started quoting additional services and costs. Suddenly the $80 special was up to $250.

Also,
I know that a major cause of endocarditis is dental related and antibiotics are necessary before any dental work.

I brush twice daily and floss. However, even with good dental hygiene there can sometimes be bleeding during flossing.
This frightens me.

Any input, as always, would be appreciated.

Thank You
 

ManiSham

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Joined
Feb 7, 2014
Messages
46
Location
SL
I had endocarditis and was advised to use a mouth wash after brushing and flossing.
 

BeeKnees

Member
Joined
May 2, 2014
Messages
11
Location
Wisconsin, USA
I just had a dental consult this morning. It was upsetting - I need a bunch of stuff taken care of before my surgery on the 20th. I have to get a thorough, under the gum (forget what they called it) cleaning and one extraction due to a funky looking old root canal. The exam (including xrays), did not cost me anything, but the stuff coming up will - around $350.
I had no mouth pain or bleeding at home, but after they poked around there was some blood and they said that is a problem.

My dentist just now called me, and they want me to pre-medicate before the procedures, since it is so close to my surgery date.

It really is important to have the exam and identify any possible issues. Even though I dreaded it and dread the future appointments in the next two weeks, I am glad they are being so cautious.
 

MarkU

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Joined
Jul 22, 2001
Messages
1,057
Location
Sarasota, FL
I didn't have time for a pre-surgery dental check-up, but since my AVR I've had quarterly cleaning visits at the dentist. Fortunately we've got a pretty good medical plan that covers it all.

I'm allergic to penicillin, so I pre-medicate with Clindamycin.

I'm also pretty disciplined about brushing & flossing twice a day. Figure it's pretty cheap insurance against any infections.

Mark
 

R1Phrankey

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Joined
Mar 26, 2014
Messages
49
Location
The Netherlands, Europe
I also had my dental check last week as pre-op check. Here, in the Netherlands, it is a standard way of working.
I had my check in the hospital at an oral surgeon. First of all they have made an x-ray from the complete jaw (not only bite-wing images). He told me that they always remove the wisdom teeth. Well, in my case these were already removed some years ago. Furthermore, he checked the gums on infection. All looked good and the total examination took less than 10 minutes.
 

Debbrn

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Joined
Jan 8, 2005
Messages
439
Location
southeast
I was not required to get a letter from my dentist. But I go every 6 months for a dental cleaning. They also did not want be to get a dental cleaning for several weeks after my surgery. I can not remember any more how long.

Debbie
 

dornole

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Jan 5, 2014
Messages
803
Location
Minnesota, US
Maybe I will just throw this out there - I recently found out that my medical insurance will cover periodontal care that my dental policy does not, because I have a heart condition and they are will to pay for that prevention due to endocarditis risk. I have to file papers and it's a pain . . .and my gums are in great shape now so I don't need this (they weren't a few years ago . . .) but nice to know. People might want to inquire if they need more frequent checkups, root scaling etc.
 

ski girl

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Joined
Sep 14, 2010
Messages
683
Location
Perth, Western Australia
I had an x-ray of my entire head to check for any dental issues prior to my first op!

Also after a near-fatal bout of endocarditis I was given some really good oral hygiene instructions (in the link by AZDon, thanks!!). 2.5 years on and I have yet to wreck this heart valve with bacteria :)
 

river-wear

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Joined
Oct 26, 2009
Messages
625
Location
Los Gatos, CA
I just had mine, and apparently my dentist is quite expensive. Total charges were about $270 for the exam and a full set of X-rays. Fortunately my dental insurance will cover most of it, but the bill still irritated me. I had just been to the dentist for the usual cleaning about three months ago.

My dentist emailed me a note clearing me for surgery and attached a copy of the X-rays so I could send it on to my surgeon.
 

epstns

Premium User
VR.org Supporter
Joined
Dec 26, 2002
Messages
5,192
Location
Chicago area
At the time of my valve surgery, I was in the midst of a dental "refurbishment" program. We did have to accelerate one extraction, but the rest was just routine for me.

Both before surgery (after diagnosis) and after, I take 600 mg of Clindamycin 1 hour before any invasive dental work. My dentist does not like any of the mouthwash products that contain alcohol. She says that they cause more irritation to the gums than they are worth. She recommends several other, non-alcoholic washes, though.

I have "normal" cleaning done and exams 4 times a year. Still have some restorations to do, but have maxxed out this year's insurance.
 

Elgato

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Joined
Mar 7, 2014
Messages
53
Location
Tucson, AZ USA
It looks like it is questionable as to whether the usual over the counter products are effective at killing bacteria.
Octenidine dihydrochloride and Chlorhexidine have positive test results. I have no idea how to get them.

So, for over the counter its either alcohol or cetylpyridinium chloride.
 

Elgato

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Joined
Mar 7, 2014
Messages
53
Location
Tucson, AZ USA
Most of the sites only ship to AUS or EU.

Is it controlled in the US? Can you get it at Walgreens or CVS with a prescription?

Thanks
 

Agian

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Joined
Jun 10, 2013
Messages
2,343
Location
Adelaide, South Australia
I'd be very surprised if you couldn't get it in America. You should at the very least be able get it on a script. I'd ring a pharmacy and ask.

Btw, it might be available as a different brand. Don't just look for Curasept.
 
Last edited:

cldlhd

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Joined
Apr 9, 2014
Messages
1,693
Location
Levittown ,Pa 19054
I haven't had my surgery yet but it scares me also. It's actually the main reason I'm considering aortic repair , if it can be repaired, over a mech valve. My gums bleed occasionally although not lately-I've always taken decent care of my teeth but definitely stepped it up as of late- plus apparently you can get the infection through your skin-I get scrapes and nicks without even noticing- and also thru your GI or urinary tract.
 
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