Dental Work

I had my PM implant on December 31st over three weeks ago. I need to go back to my dentist and fix my teeth. Can I do it? What precautions should I follow, besides telling my dentist? 



by doublehorn48 - 2024-01-22 14:50:54

I've never told a dentist that I had a pacemaker.


by Xtrabeat - 2024-01-22 15:24:03

I had a dental check last week. I think you will find that dentists are completely familiar with pacemakers and dental work. I was told that some of the "old fashioned" equipmemt could theorretically cause issues but not the ones currently used (ultrasound for cleaning/scaling" was mentioned}). I think all you need to do is let them know you have one - most do a medical screening update before undertaking any treatment anyway. 


by H van Dyk - 2024-01-22 15:28:23

"I've never told a dentist that I had a pacemaker."

Me neither, but I've read that there's a slight risk when using ultrasonic devices (whatever they may be). So next time I think I will inform him/her.

as the others have said

by new to pace.... - 2024-01-22 16:29:33

To make you feel safe just mention.  I need to take 4 antibotic's an hour before only because of my shoulder replacement.

new to pace

Never told him..

by USMC-Pacer - 2024-01-22 16:43:58

I also take antibiotics prior to dental work for an AVR, but they are prescribed by my cardiologist.

My dentist doesn't use ultrasonics on me so he doesn't need to know about either.. JMHO and I'm sure yours may differ.



by Lavender - 2024-01-22 18:32:02

The only cautionary tool is the Cavitron-ultrasonic which is a wand which cleans the teeth. I have read that some apex locators shouldn't be used as well-but those are only used for root canal treatment. Go to the dentist. Tell them you have a pacemaker. They will know what's ok!

My career was spent in the dental office😘 Brush! Floss! Use a sonicare toothbrush and a waterpik! Use fluoride rinse before bed-look mom! No cavities!!🦷 


by piglet22 - 2024-01-23 06:59:40

It's important that your dentist knows about your device and additionally, your medication.

My large paper medical record file has a prominent red sticker on it which says "No diathermy".

As well as seeing the dentist, I see the hygienist who just loved to get that ultrasonic probe out and give me gyp.

For anyone who's interested, there's an effect in electronics called the electroacoustic effect where sound waves can create a voltage.

I first noticed this in action when I cleaned up a printed circuit board in an ultrasonic bath and despite the fact there was no power source on the board like a battery, the LEDs would light up.

So the ultrasonic waves were powering the LEDs.

Normally, that takes about  10-milliamps at 2-volts, so enough to give sensitive teeth a bit of a shock.

When the hygienist discovered I had a pacemaker, thankfully they stopped the ultrasonic work.

I raised this with the pacing people who said modern ultrasonic probes safe to use with pacemakers.

Given the option, I always ask for manual descaling just to avoid the pain.

Just for the record, here's another piece of equipment that's safe to use with pacemakers, the ultrasonic bath.

Commonly used to clean jewelry and spectacles, it's a powerful device that injects high frequency sound waves into liquid, usually water, which causes cavitation and the cleaning effect.

And yes, I do give my fingernails a clean too and all you feel is a slight tingle.

No pacemaker ill effects despite the large transformer and ultrasonic transducer.

All Lavenders good advice came to late for me and not one NHS dentist ever gave me advice about looking after teeth. In fact it was probably in their interest as it gave them something to charge for.

In the postwar years, kids didn't have much choice and cheap sugary sweets abounded. Sherbet Dips, Pear Drops and even one called Acid Drops. Seaside rock like granite complete with the now banned pink dye Rhodamine-B.

Early dentists would knock out kids with gas to keep them quiet and the dentists still used belt driven drills. Enough to put you off dentists for life.


by docklock - 2024-01-23 11:07:09

I told my Dentist I had a PM. He said OK, noted it on my chart.  Said there was nothing he does that will interfere with my PM, Scaling, drilling, etc. I have seen him twice since and have had no ill effects. 

It's been said here a bunch of times that modern PMs are well shielded. That doesn't mean we should take chances with them. I can remember many years ago when powered door openers were becoming more common.  Signs at the time were "keep walking thru, don't stop".  Almost every place I go to has powered doors --- never have I seen a sign citing danger. 



by piglet22 - 2024-01-24 11:34:48

The shielding is to do with the very fragile signals that the device has to deal with.

Many biological and environmental electrical activities are in the millivolt and currents well below microamps.

A pH probe operates with currents less than one millionth of an amp and even bending the connecting cable affects the signal.

In the pacemaker, every effort will be made to protect that signal from outside influences.

I've never tried it, but placing a magnet on a shielded cable probably has no effect.

I'm guessing a bit, but most of the risk with PMs comes from radio frequency interference where leads could act as an antenna. Again, I've never seen it in action or tested it.

The doors warning thing is a mystery. Modern doors use infrared to detect people and operate the door mechanism. Maybe it was a defect of the way the door worked if you stood still. Or maybe it was timed to close. I doubt that the closing and opening mechanism would interfere.

Certainly when you have something in direct contact with your heart, you need to be careful.

The devices are pretty robust and I think you would have to go out of your way to make it malfunction.

The air around us is absolutely chock full of RF radiation. Every phone, every mast, every TV, radio transmits and receives radiated energy. Imagine the very TV picture you look at from a transmitter has all that information in a string of numbers.

Does it affect us? Who knows.

Dentist and new device

by islandgirl - 2024-01-26 22:49:36

I could not have my teeth cleaned for 6 months following implantation due to the risk of infection.  That was from my EP and dentist.  There is a risk of infection with teeth cleaning.  My dentist (she's a good friend) has told me antibiotics are no longer needed for pacemaker devices.

You know you're wired when...

The mortgage on your device is more than your house.

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