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Quintessence International



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Quintessence Int 34 (2003), No. 7     1. July 2003
Quintessence Int 34 (2003), No. 7  (01.07.2003)

Page 515-525

Dental management of patients with human immunodeficiency virus
Campo-Trapero, Julián / Cano-Sánchez, Jorge / Romero-Guerrero, Jorge del / Moreno-López, Luis A. / Cerero-Lapiedra, Rocío / Bascones-Martínez, Antonio
The demand for dental treatment by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected individuals is rising. Some professionals are still reluctant to treat these patients, despite the extremely low likelihood of professional transmission, which increases only in patients with a very elevated viral load. The complications rate after dental intervention is very low, even in patients with considerable immunologic deterioration. The dentist should pay special attention to the general clinical situation and immunologic and HIV virologic status of the seropositive patient, and to the presence of hemostasis alterations or of other concomitant diseases. Antiretroviral or any other drug treatments must also be recorded, in order to avoid possible interactions with clinician-prescribed drugs. Tooth extraction is the most common dental treatment and requires no antibiotic therapy except in cases of neutropenia or severe immunosuppression. Other dental treatments do not require special precautions, and the complications index among these patients is similar to that among the uninfected patient population. With this background, there is a need to make the clinician-in-training aware of the importance of regular dental health checkups as part of the health care routine of HIV-infected patients and to familiarize the clinician with their management, while not disregarding the unquestionable requirement to carry out the general and specific prevention measures to be adopted in all cases.