Learn More about Dental Implants




Do you think you have a penicillin allergy?  Did your mom or dad tell you that you have an allergy to penicillin, but you don’t really know?

The penicillin group of antibiotics works really well for dental implant and bone grafting procedures.  In fact, patients who are not treated with the penicillin type of antibiotics, such as amoxicillin or Augmentin, have a higher rate of implant and bone graft complications/failures!

 allergy to penicillin

The video below is from a well-respected allergy physician.  I have found that most of my patients are not allergic to penicillin even though they say they are.  If you were to have a reaction, it is typically pretty mild and not anaphylactic shock.

The other issue with dental implants/bone grafting surgery on a penicillin-allergic patient is, oftentimes, the go-to antibiotic is clindamycin.  The jury is out on whether or not it really is helpful or harmful from a dental implant bone graft perspective, but the reality is it also has a higher chance of stomach-related problems (the worst being C. difficile, which can hospitalize you).

I always have a very extensive discussion with my patients who are penicillin allergic.  If you have had hives or welts, that’s a real allergy versus stomach upset.

Also, just because a close relative has an allergy to penicillin this does not mean that you will as well.

The vast majority of patients that I’ve had complications with were allergic to penicillin (or said they were) and were  unwilling to take a different antibiotic…this is my own 20-year perspective doing dental surgery.

Antibiotics should always be used judiciously as some dental implant procedures require antibiotics. Sometimes the risks outweigh the benefits while other times the benefits outweigh the risks.  The clinical judgment and expertise of your implant dentist should help guide you on doing the right thing.

Ramsey A. Amin, D.D.S.
Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology /Implant Dentistry
Fellow-American Academy of Implant Dentistry


  1. I’ve had a dental implant last Spring & was prescribed Clindamycin, due to a Penicillin allergy. I developed C-diff. from the antibiotic & am still struggling w/stomach issues. Since then I was finally going to get a crown on the implant only to have been told by my dentist that the implant looks like it’s failing. A sore has developed alongside the gum of the implant. I will be going to the Oral surgeon this next week & am worried about being put on another antibiotic, as I’m fairly certain the implant will be removed. Are there antibiotic injections that would be much safer than an oral antibiotic, so as to prevent a C-diff. reoccurrence????

    1. yikes… Typically you can be treated with vancomycin and/or metronidazole to treat the C. difficile. Depending on the level of difficulty of the procedure you may or may not need to go onto an antibiotic. Consider an alternative such as a newer generation cephalosporin but those are discussions to have with your doctor who may or may not be fully informed about clindamycin and its problems. I hope you get better!

  2. How interesting, i have often wondered if i am allergic as i never was and i only got a slight itch years ago and was told not to have it anymore as the next time i might get a worse reaction, i thought what ? so since then i am down as allergic but have always thought i do not really believe it and was very disappointed to think i could not use it as it is a wonderful anti biotic ? over time and even recently i have thought i really do not think i am allergic / and in 2012 i was put on cylindamycin 9× day i even questioned that as i had never been on that such a high dose of anything i got a bad reaction to that but the dosage was so high and that may have been the real cause i was only on that for 3x days and i got the dr to stop it.So i find your blog on this most interesting.
    Regards Julie

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Dr. Ramsey Amin has extensive experience in surgical and restorative implant dentistry. As one of only less than 400 Diplomates of the American Board of Oral Implantology/ Implant Dentistry (ABOI/ID) he is considered an expert, and board-certified in dental implants. He is a former instructor at the UCLA School of Dentistry.