Warwick Dentistry, The University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL.
There is increasing evidence of the inappropriate use of antimicrobials in dentistry and this may contribute to the problem of antimicrobial resistance. The research to date with regard to efficacy of antimicrobial prophylaxis in reducing failure of integration and postoperative complications when placing dental implants remains equivocal. The aim of this study was to investigate how dentists in the UK use antimicrobials prophylactically in implant practice.
An e-mail link was provided in 2011 to an anonymous online (Smart-Survey) questionnaire using three databases of dentists who, by being on them, had registered an interest in placing dental implants. Absolute frequencies were used to describe the study sample demographics and examine the distribution of responses for all the variables investigated.
One hundred and nine completed questionnaires were received. Seventy-two percent (n = 76) routinely prescribed prophylactic antibiotics for all procedures. There was a wide variation in the pre-operative and postoperative prescription regimens with the majority (84%) stating that it was to prevent infection at the site of surgery or to reduce a bacteraemia.
Although this was a small study with a low response rate, wide variations in antibiotic prescribing regimens with respect to drug, dose and duration were found. Further research is needed and guidelines developed to prevent antibiotic over prescribing and misuse.