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Why Do I Need Dental Clearance Before Surgery?

Before many surgeries, your surgeon will advise a dental exam to reduce the risk of post-operative complications and infection because  bacteria in your mouth can enter your bloodstream and travel to the surgery site.  Your dentist on Commercial Blvd  Fort Lauderdale will check for and eliminate any active or potential sources of infection which can include gum (periodontal) disease, severe tooth decay, a dental abscess or any area of soreness in the mouth.  The presence of an infection anywhere in the body weakens the whole immune system.  Patients with poor dental health may have to delay their surgery for weeks, or even months. 

What Does A Dental Clearance Appointment Involve?

When you come for your appointment for dental clearance prior to surgery, Nancy Rotroff, DDS, MAGD or Gerard Wasselle, DMD will conduct a comprehensive dental examination.  Xrays are taken in order to complete a radiographic analysis to detect any infection  in the teeth, gums, or jaw bone. If any active infection is found, your dentist in Fort Lauderdale will provide a treatment plan to eliminate your dental infection and restore your oral health before clearing you for surgery.  

What's The Connection Between Oral Health and Overall Health?

So what are doctors worried about? Why do they ask a patient to get dental clearance prior to a hip replacement, knee replacement, heart surgery or before starting chemotherapy? Your doctor is concerned because they know the bacteria in your mouth can spread throughout the rest of the body and cause infection in other sites, particularly sites where there is compromised blood flow, such as the site of  your new joint replacement or your heart valve replacement.  If the bacteria settles in those locations, it can cause infection and potentially result in a failed replacement or more severe heart problems.

How Do I Know If I Have Periodontal Disease?

A recent CDC study reports "47.2% of adults aged 30 years and older have some form of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease increases with age, 70.1% of adults 65 years and older have periodontal disease."  Periodontitis is usually the result of poor oral hygiene. Brushing at least twice a day, flossing daily and getting regular dental checkups with your local dentist can greatly reduce your chance of developing gum disease.  If you experience any of the following warning signs of periodontal disease, contact your family dentist in Fort Lauderdale for a dental exam.


Dr. Nancy Rotroff, Dr. Gerard Wasselle and the staff of Excellence in Dentistry in Fort Lauderdale want to emphasize prevention is always the best medicine. Good oral health habits like regular brushing, flossing, and professional dental cleanings help you prevent gum disease, tooth loss and other complications.  Treating gum disease in its earliest stages is far easier than treating it once it becomes a severe problem.  Your health, recovery, and peace of mind are important to us. Before going in for joint replacement surgery, a dental health clearance can really make a difference in the outcome of the procedure. 

Visit our dental office on Commercial Blvd in Fort Lauderdale. We are in-network with and accept many PPO dental insurance companies. If you are not sure if we accept your insurance plan, call 954-928-1666 and our friendly staff will help with all of your insurance filing.  At Excellence in Dentistry, our doctors and staff provide the highest quality dentistry in a comfortable, stress-free environment. 

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