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Semin Cardiothorac Vasc Anesth. 2010 Mar;14(1):38-40. doi: 10.1177/1089253210362272.

The importance of oral health for cardiothoracic and vascular patients.

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Department of Anesthesiology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029, USA.


Prior to cardiothoracic or vascular surgery, a patient's oral health is not usually a high priority for the surgical team. Yet, oral neglect often mirrors systemic disease and the need for proper dental care is often unmet. In the perioperative period, the presence of untreated decayed teeth and periodontal disease can result in a potent odontogenic infection with significant consequences. Patients can unknowingly present for such operations with undetected oral infections that can magnify the likelihood of an adverse outcome, increase costs, morbidity, and possibly mortality. Considering scheduling constraints and the urgency of the procedure, a pre-operative dental screening is suggested for patients who undergo elective cardiothoracic or vascular surgery, to ensure that any oral infection is diagnosed and definitively treated. Implementing such an effective and preventive approach can improve surgical outcome and overall patient health.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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