Background. Coronary artery stents are metallic scaffold devices that physically support narrowed coronary arteries to alleviate symptoms of ischemic coronary artery disease. They are placed during invasive procedures similar to that of percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty, and patients are maintained with antiplatelet medications to lessen the chances of stent stenosis. Methods. The authors provide a brief overview of coronary artery stents and discuss the dental management of patients who have received stents. Conclusions. After stent placement, patients usually are maintained with antiplatelet regimens, which may necessitate choosing medications that do not potentiate their effects. Any discussion as to the possible need for antibiotic prophylaxis of patients with stents largely is missing from the literature. Recent literature, however, indicates that antibiotic prophylaxis, if required, may only be needed during the first few weeks after stent placement. Clinical Implications. Dental professionals should become knowledgeable about coronary artery stents. Although these devices have a higher success rate than other procedures in alleviating symptoms of ischemic coronary artery disease, some patients are still at risk of experiencing significant cardiac events.
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