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May JADA looks at why dental prescribing of antibiotics is increasing

April 29, 2016

By Michelle Manchir

Image of May Journal of the American Dental Aassociation coverMany practitioners can find opportunities to prescribe antibiotics less often and for shorter durations when they review their prescribing methods and ensure they are compliant with guidelines, according to research published in the May 2016 issue of The Journal of the American Dental Association.

Researchers analyzed data on outpatient prescriptions in British Columbia, Canada, from 1996 to 2013 and adjusted the figures for population growth. Researchers found a 62 percent increase in the rate of prescribing of antibiotics by dentists.

“There is nothing special about British Columbia, so we are raising the question as to whether this could be going on elsewhere, too,” explained David Patrick, M.D., the study’s corresponding author, and a professor and director at the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia. “This is occurring at the same time as the world is waking up to the threat of infections caused by antibiotic resistant organisms. There is a clear understanding that unnecessary uses of antibiotics accelerates the problem, and (physicians) have responded by reducing their prescribing by 18 percent.  In essence, this is a call to arms for dentists to join the fray, participate in antibiotic stewardship efforts and help in the battle to reduce the threat from resistant organisms.  Many dentists contributed ideas about how dental prescription could be reduced without harming patients.”

To read the complete article, Antibiotic Prescribing by Dentists Has Increased: Why?, visit

Other highlights of the May JADA include a specialty update on the of the status of regenerative endodontic procedures and insight into the different levels of their clinical outcomes; a study looking at restorative treatment among California dentists’ decisions regarding approximal and occlusal carious lesions; and a look at the nasal methicillin-resistant  Staphylococcus aureus colonization rate among dental school students.

Every month, JADA articles are published online at in advance of print publication. The entire May issue is available online.

In addition to print and online, readers can also access, read, share and search JADA from their phone or tablets. The JADA app is available for all iOS and Android devices through the App Store and Google Play.