The origin of prosthetic joint infections has been a controversial topic for dentists, physicians and patients. Confusion surrounds the risk of dental procedure-related bacteremia and the subsequent risk of patients with orthopedic devices developing prosthetic joint infection following such bacteremia.
The Canadian Orthopedic Association, the Canadian Dental Association and the Association of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Disease Canada have reviewed the current best available evidence on the effectiveness of dental antibiotic prophylaxis in the reduction of orthopedic prosthetic joint infections, in the context of the issue of emerging antimicrobial resistance and the critical role of all health care providers to steward appropriate use of antimicrobial drugs.
These professional bodies concludes that:
1. Most transient bacteremia of oral origin occurs outside of dental procedures.
2. The significant majority f prosthetic joint infections are not due to organisms found in the mouth.
3. Few prosthetic joint infections have an observable and clearly defined relationship with dental procedures.
4. There is no reliable evidence that antibiotic prophylaxis prior to dental procedures prevents prosthetic joint infections.