Background and overview: In 1997, the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons convened an expert panel of dentists, orthopaedic surgeons and infectious disease specialists and published their first Advisory Statement on Antibiotic Prophylaxis for Dental Patients with Prosthetic Joints. This represented the first time that national health organizations had gone on record on this topic. This 2003 advisory statement is the first periodic update of the 1997 statement. In addition, the organizations have created a new patient handout (included at the end of the statement) that dentists may share with their patients. The 1997 Advisory Statement has been well-used by dentists and orthopaedic surgeons. Following their standard protocols for periodic review of existing advisory statements, the ADA and AAOS and their expert consultants recently reviewed the 1997 statement.
Conclusions and clinical implications: The 2003 statement includes some modifications of the classification of patients at potential risk and of the incidence stratification of bacteremic dental procedures, but no changes in terms of suggested antibiotics and antibiotic regimens. The statement concludes that antibiotic prophylaxis is not indicated for dental patients with pins, plates or screws, nor is it routinely indicated for most dental patients with total joint replacements. However, it is advisable to consider premedication in a small number of patients who may be at potential increased risk of experiencing hematogenous total joint infection.