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Association requests dentist be added to antibiotics council

December 21, 2015

Washington — Dentists prescribe about 10 percent of all antibiotics, making them the fourth largest prescriber. This puts dentists on the front line in an effort to stop the abuse and misuse of these powerful drugs.

This was the key message in a Dec. 14 letter from ADA President Carol Gomez Summerhays and Executive Director Kathleen T. O’Loughlin to the Presidential Advisory Committee on Combatting Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria. In a letter to the council’s chair, Martin J. Blaser, M.D., and vice chair, Lonnie J. King, D.V.M., Drs. Summerhays and O’Loughlin urge the council to appoint a dentist or dental organization to help the council to understand the role of antibiotic prescribing in dentistry and the many ways the dental profession can inform the council’s work.

Calling it “essential” for dentistry and medicine to work together to minimize the overuse and abuse of antibiotics, Drs. Summerhays and O’Loughlin asked the council to consider appointing an appropriately credentialed dentist so that he or she could provide “substantive advice, information, and recommendations on the interprofessional challenges and opportunities to control antibiotic-resistance threats.

“We would welcome the opportunity to meet with you (or testify) to discuss the role of antibiotic prescribing in the dental practice, and how dentistry can inform the council’s work. In the meantime, we respectfully ask that you appoint a dentist (or dental organization) with the appropriate clinical and scientific credentials to formally advise the council,” wrote Drs. Summerhays and O’Loughlin.

Visit the ADA advocacy section to see the full text of the letter.