80% of the antibiotics prescribed by dentists are unnecessary, according to the study

80% of the antibiotics prescribed by dentists are unnecessary, according to the study

  • Dentists prescribe 26.6 million of the 266 million courses of antibiotics per year
  • But a new study, the first to analyze the prescription of national dentistry, finds that figure too high

Dentists prescribe 10 percent of all antibiotics in the US – one of the highest percentages of medical specialty.

In other words, they prescribe 26.6 million of the 266 million antibiotics treatments per year.

But according to a new one study80 per cent (roughly 21.3 million prescriptions) are unnecessary, mostly in the western US.

The Chicago researchers study, published today in JAMA Network Open, is the first attempt to measure nationally how and where dentists prescribe these drugs, to indicate where we can cut back.


A new study examines where and to whom dentists prescribe antibiotics

A new study examines where and to whom dentists prescribe antibiotics

& # 39; The use of preventive antibiotics in these patients opens them to the risks associated with the use of antibiotics – for example, increasing bacterial resistance and infections – when the evidence used to follow the guidelines suggests that the benefits outweigh the benefits in most patients, & # 39; said Katie Suda, the corresponding author of the study.

The more antibiotics we take, the faster we all become resistant to life-saving drugs.

Despite the worldwide efforts to curb the use of antibiotics, little has changed in recent decades, but there are few studies on why.

An obvious area to target was to prescribe antibiotics prior to a visit to the dentist – known as antibiotic prophylaxis – for people at high risk of prosthetic joint or heart disease infection.

But research has suggested that it may not be necessary or effective, so new US dental rules published in 2007 and tightened up again in 2013, said that only those with the highest risk should receive pre-appointment pills.


According to the new research led by Suda, associate professor at the University of Illinois, Chicago, College of Pharmacy, not everyone is aware of that guideline change.

Her team looked at 168,420 dental visits and their prescriptions, compared to the national average of who should receive proportional antibiotics.

They found that 81 percent of the prescriptions were not in accordance with national guidelines and were provided for patients without risky heart disease.

The most unnecessary regulations were drawn up for people in the western US, for women, for people with joint replacement and for people with dental implants.

The most commonly used antibiotic was clindamycin, which gave Dr. Suda a break, as this is the antibiotic most commonly associated with C. difficile infections by attacking the lining of the intestines.


& # 39; Until recently, little attention was paid to the use of antibiotics in dentistry & # 39 ;, Emily S. Spivak, MD of the University of Utah School of Medicine, who was not involved in the study, commented for JAMA.

Dr. Spivak added: & # 39; This is an interesting finding, suggesting that a & # 39; concerned good & # 39; phenomenon can promote prescription of the medication. & # 39;

Susan Rowan, executive dean dean and associate dean for clinical affairs at UIC College of Dentistry, who worked on the research with Suda, said:

& # 39; I think dental care providers should view this study, which first looks at preventative antibiotic prescription for dental procedures and provides this kind of useful information, as a powerful call to action, not as a reprimand. & # 39;


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