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Pacemakers And Dental Visits

Posted on 10/31/2023 by SRD Muscle Shoals
Older white patient sitting in dental chair calmly discussing his oral health with his Black female dentistThere are roughly three million Americans who walk around with a pacemaker, a small device that is implanted underneath the skin of your chest or stomach. It is battery-operated, and it works to ensure that your heart beats normally. If you have a pacemaker, you may be worried about visiting a dentist. However, with a few simple precautions, you'll be able to visit the dentist for your regular checkups.

If You Have a Pacemaker

Before you visit the dentist, you need to speak with your cardiologist to find out if they are okay with your dental visit. The cardiologist will know which dental procedures are fine for you and which ones take a bit of preparation. The earlier you have this discussion with your cardiologist, the better your dental visit will be.

For example, if you have a pacemaker and you need dental X-rays, your dentist will need to make sure the area where your pacemaker is implanted is shielded with lead before the x-ray begins to protect it. Also, if you are undergoing a dental procedure, such as having a cavity filled, your cardiologist may advise that you need to be on antibiotics for 10 days after the procedure to prevent infection.

Talk to Your Health Practitioners

You will want to make sure both the dentist and your cardiologist can discuss your care without violating your privacy. Be sure that both of them have the right to discuss your care because both of them are bound by patient privacy acts called HIPAA. HIPAA is the acronym for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. HIPAA prevents your caregivers from discussing your case without permission.

When your practitioners can discuss your case, they will be able to share information about your cardiac health and steps the dentist can take to ensure you have a safe and healthy visit.

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