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A National Survey of Pediatric Dentists on Antibiotic Use in Children

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Purpose: The purposes of this study were to: (1) examine the antibiotic prescribing practices of pediatric dentists and adherence to professional guidelines; and (2) assess their knowledge of and attitudes toward antibiotic resistance. Methods: A cross-sectional survey regarding antibiotic use, resistance, and knowledge of antibiotic stewardship programs was emailed to 4,636 members of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD). Results: 987 surveys (21 percent) were completed; 984 were analyzed. Lack of adherence to AAPD antibiotic guidelines was noted. There was a trend toward overuse of antibiotics for the following conditions: irreversible pulpitis with (32 percent) and without vital pulp (42 percent); localized dentoalveolar abscess with (68 percent) and without draining fistula (39 percent); mitral valve relapse with regurgitation (43 percent); intrusion (15 percent); extrusion (13 percent); and rheumatoid arthritis (12 percent). Determinants of antibiotic use were: facial swelling (88 percent); pain relief (15 percent); unavailable appointment for several weeks (six percent); and parental satisfaction (four percent). Although 98 percent of respondents believed that antibiotic resistance is of growing concern, only 15 percent were aware of antibiotic stewardship programs. Conclusion: AAPD members overprescribe antibiotics. Educational programs to increase knowledge of antibiotic resistance and stewardship programs should be implemented to increase adherence to professional guidelines.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Family Dental Center, Federally Qualified Health Center, Columbia, Mo;, USA. [email protected] 2: Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Tufts University, Boston, Mass., USA. Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Holyoke Health Center, Holyoke, Mass., USA 3: Department of Clinical Research, Lutheran Medical Center, Brooklyn, N.Y., USA

Publication date: November 1, 2013

More about this publication?
  • Pediatric Dentistry is the official publication of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and the College of Diplomates of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. It is published bi-monthly and is internationally recognized as the leading journal in the area of pediatric dentistry. The journal promotes the practice, education and research specifically related to the specialty of pediatric dentistry. This peer-reviewed journal features scientific articles, case reports and abstracts of current pediatric dental research.
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