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80% of preventive antibiotics prescribed by dentists are unnecessary

Dentists are top prescribers of antibiotics in the USA responsible for up to 10 % of all antibiotic prescriptions. A study published in JAMA found that antibiotics prescribed by dentists as a preventive strike against infections are unnecessary 81% of the time. Researchers used a national healthcare claims database to examine nearly 170 000 antibiotic prescriptions from dentists between 2011 and 2015. Antibiotics prescribed when not warranted expose patients to the risk of unnecessary side effects and also contribute to the growing problem of antibiotic resistance. Until recently, little attention has been paid to the use of antibiotics in dentistry. This study suggests that dentists need to be included in antibiotic stewardship programs.


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