When it comes to wisdom teeth removal, antibiotics may be prescribed to reduce the risk of infection and dry alveolitis. However, antibiotics can also cause unwanted effects, so it's essential to understand when they are necessary and when they are not. Generally, antibiotics are not routinely prescribed after wisdom teeth have been extracted. But, they may be prescribed in certain cases to treat or reduce the risk of infection.
If you have been prescribed antibiotics, take them as directed and stop using them if you experience any adverse reactions. Certain medical conditions or problems can put a patient at risk of developing a bacterial infection as a result of a tooth extraction. In these cases, pre-treatment antibiotics may be needed before the tooth is extracted. This is known as “prophylactic” antibiotics and is done to prevent the spread of bacteria through the bloodstream, which could lead to an infection in a distant part of the body.
Research results and current guidelines are constantly evolving, and the trend is now towards using premedication with antibiotics less frequently than in previous decades. This is because taking antibiotics provides little benefit to the patient and exposes them to the risk of suffering adverse reactions to the antibiotic itself. If you have a history of taking antibiotics before dental treatment, you should ask your dentist about it. Controlling tooth-related swelling through the exclusive use of antibiotics is never the dentist's first choice.
Instead, practical techniques such as extracting the tooth or making an incision and draining the source of infection are usually used first. Depending on the level of success achieved in reducing swelling, a decision can then be made to initiate an antibiotic regimen. In some cases, oral antibiotics may be taken as little as one hour before the procedure to provide adequate coverage. Systemic (I, V) or topical (placed on the extraction site immediately after tooth extraction) antibiotics may also be used to prevent complications after tooth extractions. It's important to remember that research results and current guidelines are constantly evolving, so it's best to consult with your dentist if you have any questions about whether or not you need antibiotics before or after wisdom teeth removal.