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Only very serious heart conditions such as congenital heart disease, prosthetic heart valves, certain cardiac transplant patients and patients with previous heart infections are now recommended for prophylactic antibiotics.

Recent studies also indicate that prophylactic antibiotics may not be useful for preventing infections in patients with artificial joint replacements. Because of this, patients who have artificial joints should contact their orthopedic physicians for guidance and prescriptions when possible.

Unnecessary prescribing of antibiotics can lead to bacterial resistance and possible allergic complications and should be avoided if possible.

Dr. Howard Kopel, DDS