Background: In February 2009, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) published an information statement in which the organization "recommends that clinicians consider antibiotic prophylaxis [AP] for all total joint replacement patients prior to any invasive procedure that may cause bacteremia." The leadership of the American Academy of Oral Medicine (AAOM) thought that there was a need to respond to this new statement.
Methods: The authors reviewed the literature on this subject as it relates to the AAOS's February 2009 information statement. The draft of the resulting report was reviewed and approved by the leadership of the AAOM and several dentists in North America who have expertise on this subject.
Results: The risk of patients' experiencing drug reactions or drug-resistant bacterial infections and the cost of antibiotic medications alone do not justify the practice of using AP in patients with prosthetic joints.
Conclusions: The authors identified the major points of concern for a future multidisciplinary, systematic review of AP use in patients with prosthetic joints. In the meantime, they conclude that the new AAOS statement should not replace the 2003 joint consensus statement.
Clinical implications: Until this issue is resolved, dentists have three options: inform their patients with prosthetic joints about the risks associated with AP use and let them decide; continue to follow the 2003 guidelines; or suggest to the orthopedic surgeon that they both follow the 2003 guidelines.