Are we eliminating cures with antibiotic abuse? A study among dentists
Context: The theme of “World Health Day 2011” is “combat drug resistance- No action today, No cure tomorrow” which is very pertinent. The present study emphatically demonstrates the current issues related to the overwhelming concerns regarding indiscriminate use of antibiotics, leading to a bleak tomorrow where cures may be few.
Aim: To know the prescription pattern of antibiotics for various dental procedures by dental practitioners.
Materials and Methods: A pretested questionnaire was used which contained two sections pertaining to prescription of antibiotics for healthy and medically compromised patients during various dental procedures, with therapeutic and prophylactic considerations.
Results: Questionnaire response rate of 66.6% was observed. Amoxicillin emerged as the most preferred antibiotic for dental procedures both as a therapeutic and a prophylactic drug. 50% of the endodontists and 40% of the general dentists opted to prescribe antibiotics during root canal therapy where ideally operative intervention would have sufficed. Overuse of antibiotics for routine scaling and extraction was observed.
Conclusion: The dental profession as a whole needs to acquire a deeper understanding of the global effects of superfluous antibiotic prescription. Antibiotics when judiciously used are precise life-saving drugs.