April 2003 Bulletin

Patient handout: Joint replacement and dental work

In an effort to educate patients about the risk of joint infection following specific dental procedures—and to facilitate better communication between the orthopaedic surgeon and the dentist—the AAOS and the American Dental Association (ADA) have developed a new patient handout on the topic.

The one-page handout provides pertinent information about joint replacement, dental procedures and antibiotics, and should be discussed and completed by the orthopaedic surgeon and the patient. The handout provides space to include the date of the patient’s joint surgery as well as the orthopaedic surgeon’s contact information. The Academy and the ADA hope this handout will help to educate the patient, raise awareness about preventing infection and also serve as a useful communication tool for the dental provider.

The handout may be downloaded from the Academy Web site.

The recently revised AAOS advisory statement, "Antibiotic Prophylaxis for Dental Patients with Total Joint Replacements" can be found on the "Infections Committee" page of the AAOS Web site, as well.

Additional resource

The Academy’s patient education Web site, "Your Orthopaedic Connection," also provides helpful patient education information on this topic. A handout entitled "Dental work after a joint replacement" can be downloaded from the site. Just click on "About Orthopaedics" in the general information box.


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