Int J Periodontics Restorative Dent 35 (2015), No. 4 10. July 2015
In past decades, warnings about overprescription and misuse of antibiotics- which are now considered to be responsible for antimicrobial resistance, allergies, ineffectiveness, and suprainfections-have been made to both medical and dental clinicians. To help assess the antibiotic prescribing habits of dentists, a survey was created and emailed through the Survey Monkey tool to 102 randomly selected board-certified periodontists. Each was asked to answer multiple-choice questions regarding their use of an antibiotic protocol in 10 specific periodontal or implant-related clinical circumstances. This group of practitioners and the 10 clinical circumstances were chosen to limit the wide variety of clinical conditions treated by dentists and to narrow the scope of variables when antibiotics are considered. All 102 participants returned the questionnaire, and 96% to 100% of respondents reported that they had treated 8 of the 10 circumstances, with 89.9% and 80.8% having treated the other two conditions listed in the survey; this allowed subsequent questioning of the respondents on their antibiotic prescribing protocols. Although the validity of antibiotics for dental procedures may be questioned based on present information, as many as 50% or more of the dentists answering the survey prescribed antibiotics. The prescription, initiation, and duration of antibiotics varied considerably in many of the 10 specific circumstances, including treatment of acute and chronic periodontitis, sinus or ridge augmentation, and immediate or delayed implant placement. Based on the results of the survey, it was obvious that definitive guidelines and protocols are needed as well as expanded postgraduate training regarding antibiotic use.