Experts Debate Safety of Tooth Extraction Prior to Heart Surgery

Experts Debate Safety of Tooth Extraction Prior to Heart Surgery
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 2014-07-30 22:34

Did you know that tooth extraction is often performed prior to heart surgery to reduce the risk of developing infection during surgery (including endocarditis, a potentially deadly heart infection)?

A study out of the Mayo Clinic found that extracting abscessed or infected teeth prior to heart surgery can be risky. The relationship between dental and cardiac surgery is currently being debated, and this new information took some industry experts by surprise.

Mayo Clinic physicians reviewed 205 cases in an effort to evaluate the risk of major complications in this strategy. The team found a higher-than-expected rate (8 percent) of adverse outcomes within 30 days of tooth extraction or until the time of the cardiac operation. These outcomes included heart attack, stroke, kidney failure and death. Three percent of the test subjects died after tooth extraction and prior to heart surgery.

When asked to comment on the study, Michael Jonathan Unsworth-White, a British expert in adult cardiac surgery, noted that the Mayo Clinic’s paper was a “significant departure from current thinking.”
In a paper published in the Annals of Thoracic Surgery, the Mayo Clinic team noted the possibility that the preoperative tooth extraction increased the risk of the patients. However, they did not reach a solid conclusion that the adverse outcomes were due to tooth extraction.

Although guidelines from the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association categorize tooth extraction as a minor procedure, the Mayo Clinic team encourages physicians to “evaluate individualized risk of anesthesia and surgery in this patient population” before making their recommendation, said Dr. Mark M. Smith, the first author of the paper.

Contact Our Oral Surgeon in Orlando

If you have a dental problem that could necessitate tooth extraction, you’ll want an experienced and trusted oral surgeon to perform the procedure. Please contact Dr. Ronald Trevisani, an Orlando oral and maxillofacial surgeon, to speak with him in more detail about the procedure.

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