Can a person with heart problems visit the dentist? The question may seem absurd if one is not a medical professional or scientist in the healthcare field. However, research has shown significant links between dental therapies and various types of cardiovascular issues. A seminar held on Wednesday 10th January at UniCamillus’s new Auditorium delved into this very topic, in light of the results presented by recent European studies and the corresponding updated guidelines released in 2023.
The seminar was organized and led by Prof. Alessandro Boccanelli, a Lecturer in Cardiovascular Diseases on the University’s MSc Medicine and Surgery and the MSc Dentistry and Dental Prosthetics. Dr. Paola Coletta from the Internal Medicine Unit at the Santo Spirito Hospital and Dr. Livio De Angelis, Regional Director of NUE 122, also took part in the event.
The seminar specifically addressed the recurring doubts of a cardiological nature that arise before, during, and after dental procedures. Questions such as when and how antibiotic prophylaxis for bacterial endocarditis and valvulopathies can be administered, or whether anticoagulant and antiplatelet medications should be suspended for dental procedures were discussed. It is crucial for a medical professional to be able to provide an appropriate response to these questions for the well-being of their patients. Not all dental treatments necessarily pose problems for patients with cardiac conditions, and these cardiac conditions do not necessarily create identical risk conditions. Therefore, knowledge of the microorganisms responsible for certain cardiac conditions or post-operative complications can help prevent their onset. This also enables healthcare providers to give patients the necessary instructions to undergo treatments without unnecessary risks. As emphasized during the seminar, actively involving the patient in their care is fundamental. This involves sharing choices and necessary information with the patient for their well-being.