The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 34, Issue 9, 2080 - 2084

Effect of Preoperative Dental Extraction on Postoperative Complications After Total Joint Arthroplasty

Sonn, Kevin A. et al.
Hip Knee


Poor dental hygiene has historically been considered a potential risk factor for infection in total joint arthroplasty (TJA), which has resulted in the common practice of requiring preoperative dental clearance and often results in dental extractions. However, the association between dental pathology and periprosthetic joint infection (PJI) has recently been called into question.


A consecutive series of 2457 primary total hip and total knee arthroplasties were retrospectively reviewed. Documented dental evaluation was found in 1944 (79.1%) procedures, 223 (11.5%) of which had extraction of at least 1 tooth. No documented dental evaluation was found in 369 (15.0%) patients.


The overall complication rate was 3.87% with an overall PJI rate of 1.51%. There was no statistically significant association between a complication and procedure type, sex, preoperative dental evaluation or extraction, diabetes status, immunosuppression, malnutrition, or age. However, our sample demonstrated a higher complication rate among patients undergoing dental extraction as well as for those with diabetes and immunosuppressed patients.


Our findings suggest that routine formal dental clearance for all TJA patients may not be necessary. Additionally, patients with poor oral hygiene may not have elevated risk of postoperative PJI, and preoperative tooth extraction may represent an unnecessary step for patients undergoing elective TJA.

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