While almost everyone dreads going to the dentist, breast augmentation patients may have a special concern. Many doctors including myself advise women with breast implants to take antibiotics before going to the dentist – and for good reason.
Dental work often causes bleeding. Bleeding allows bacteria in the mouth to enter the bloodstream and spread to other parts of the body. These bacteria are often attracted to foreign objects in the body – including implants – and can collect around them, causing infections.
People with artificial heart valves are no stranger to the dental work-infection connection and, at the recommendation of the American Heart Association, take antibiotics before undergoing dental work. Many plastic surgeons will recommend the same for their breast augmentation patients, especially because capsular contracture (the most common potentially-serious complication of breast augmentation) has been linked to the presence of certain bacteria.
For my breast augmentation patients in New Jersey, I know that safety is a major concern, so I think the data supporting the use of antibiotics is worth considering. If you have breast implants, I suggest talking to your surgeon and your dentist to see if the use of antibiotics can protect your health.
Evan Sorokin MD, FACS