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What Do We Know About Antibiotic Prescribing Habits Among Dentists?


Lauri A. Hicks, DO, Director, Office of Antibiotic Stewardship, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, discusses what we know about antibiotic prescribing habits among dentists.
Interview Transcript (slightly modified for readability)
“The interesting thing about antibiotic prescribing in dentistry is that, we don’t know very much about the frequency of inappropriate and appropriate prescribing in dentistry. What we do know is that there [are] a lot of antibiotics being prescribed by dentists.
Over 24 million prescriptions are written by dentists each year, and these are general dentists, [this number] doesn’t include specialists. What we know is that [number] equates to about 10% of all antibiotics that are being prescribed in the outpatient setting. The most common antibiotics that are being prescribed by dentists are the antibiotics that you would think would be prescribed or indicated for a dental condition, [such as] amoxicillin, [or] penicillin.
But we also are seeing some antibiotics prescribed that are actually not indicated for any dental conditions. [This includes] the class of antibiotics fluoroquinolones, and some other antibiotics that are used for urinary tract infections. We’re really trying to understand why that might be happening and why dentists might be prescribing antibiotics that are not indicated in dentistry.”
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