Dental hygienist equipment with ICD - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation

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Dental hygienist equipment with ICD



Wondering if anyone can reassure me. I've just had a dental hygienist appointment today where they unfortunately failed to read my notes first. As I have an ICD I quickly raised my hand when they began to use a sonic device which I understand shouldn't be used with pacemakers. When I queried it the hygienist stopped immediately and was very apologetic, but reassured me that the manufacturers claim there are no contraindications to using this device with ICD patients. The cleaning device was on for only a moment and on the opposite side to my ICD but I'm panicking in case it will have caused any problems. Any advice please?

8 Replies
MichaelJHHeart Star

if you did not get palpitations or go slightly dizzy it is very unlikely that any damage was done. Whether or not it can be used for a patient with a pacemaker depends on the specific model and the hygienist's technique (i.e. keep any power source a specific distance from the pacemaker). If there is any doubt it is manual cleaning. I was told they were less uncomfortable than manual cleaning but felt it was the opposite!

JulesF in reply to MichaelJH

Thank you for your reassurance. I felt fine at the time and have done all afternoon. My pulse is 60 which shows its pacing OK as my pulse used to be 45! I tried to contact the ICD clinic and couldn't get through, but also spoke to a BHF nurse who also reassured me. I'm also assuming that if there is any problem it will be picked up when my monitor picks up my tracing tonight. I've learnt my lesson not to assume that people will always check medical history and that I should always flag it up with them. Thanks again.

Hi... I don't have an ICD I have a PM and I have used the hygienist equipment on about 4 occasions. I have only recently been told it can cause problems but as I have felt fine the other times I feel it's ok for me. They never seem to check even though you inform them you have a PM/ICD hopefully it hasn't done anything to you x

JulesF in reply to Funky_Uk

Thank you, feeling calmer about it all today 😉

Hi, I followed up the same query with Medtronic who make my son's ICD. We had the make and model of the cleaner and they were really helpful, if yours is a Medtronic ICD give them a call.

To reassure you they said with my son's ICD and the machine our dentist uses that the cleaner had to be a) in good working order b) suitably earthed and c) that the cleaning head shouldn't be held on or directly over the ICD.

As I say that was a specific response based on the cleaner and ICD models but I hope it helps.

As an aside if your ICD is Medtronic we've found them to be brilliant at any tech queries, takes the load off the local hospital tech staff as well.

JulesF in reply to grm67

Thank you, that's really helpful. My ICD is a Boston Latitude. I had wondered whether to phone them but sometimes trying to phone these places is so complicated, that the stress is more likely to be more harmful than potential risk from the original concern! I might try them later though.

grm67 in reply to JulesF

Obviously, I can't speak for BL but Medtronic are great, I'd hope/imagine that all the providers are the same quality. An ICD is c£50k...if I spent that on a car I'd hope for decent aftercare service ;-)

I have an icc and have no issues at the dentist including at cleaning appointments and have checked with my cardiologist who says no issues. I’ve had loads of talks from my cardiologists about keeping up with dentists appointments and cleaning my teeth at home as that’s more likely to hurt ur heart. I’ve had top manu valve ops cos I don’t clean my teeth and have in the past missed dentist appointments though fear of the dentist.

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