Antibiotic Use for Treating Dental Infections in Children: A Survey of Dentists' Prescribing Practices Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
  • Cherry, William R.
    • Affiliation: School of Dentistry, Department of Pediatric Dentistry
  • Objective: To examine the antibiotic prescribing practices of general and pediatric dentists in the management of odontogenic infections in children. Design: We relied upon a cross-sectional study design to assess the antibiotic prescribing practices of general and pediatric dentists in North Carolina. The survey instrument consisted of five clinical case scenarios that included antibiotic-prescribing decisions in a self-completed questionnaire format consisting of Likert-type responses. The participants were volunteers attending one of four continuing education courses. All privately practicing pediatric dentists were invited to participate as were general practitioners who saw children in general practice. Practitioner responses on each clinical case were compared to the prescribing guidelines provided by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Dental Association. Results: The sample included 153 surveys (response rate: 55%). Of respondents, 67% (N=103) were general practitioners and 31% (n=48) were pediatric dentists. Antibiotics most commonly prescribed included Amoxicillin--67% (n=103) and Penicillin--31% (n=47). The frequency of prescribing antibiotics for odontogenic infections was daily--7% (n=11), weekly--34% (n=41), monthly-- 33% (n=51), or hardly ever--33% (n=50). For the 3 in-office case scenarios, adherence to guidelines was as follows: 11%, 26%, and 32%, respectively. For the 2 after-hours case scenarios, adherence dropped to 15% and 17%, respectively. Dentists who had completed post-graduate training were more likely (P<.05) to adhere to guidelines. No statistical difference was found between general and pediatric dentists. Conclusions: Adherence to professional guidelines for prescribing antibiotics for odontogenic infections in children was extremely low. There appears to be a lack of concordance between recommended professional guidelines and the antibiotic prescribing practices of dentists.
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  • In Copyright
  • "... in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry in the School of Dentistry."
  • Lee, Jessica Y.
Place of publication
  • Chapel Hill, NC
  • Open access

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