Antibiotic prescription patterns among US general dentists and periodontists

Effie Ioannidou, Nico Geurs, Ruth Lipman, Marcelo W.B. Araujo, Jay Elkareh, Steven Engebretson, Robert Eber, Thomas Oates, Patricia Diaz, Catherine Spino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: In the absence of a full spectrum of evidence-based guidelines for the appropriate use of antimicrobial agents, dentists, including periodontists, remain a highly frequent antibiotic prescribing group. With the goal of understanding antibiotic prescribing practices, the authors surveyed a convenience sample of dental practitioners and periodontists to identify differences between the 2 cohorts and assess the factors that affect prescribing practices. Methods: An institutional review board–approved 15-item survey was developed to capture antibiotic prescribing practices addressing the main research question, factors affecting systemic antibiotic prescription patterns, and prescription timing. The authors collaborated with the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) for survey dissemination. Responses were summarized using descriptive statistics. Multivariable models were developed to identify antibiotic prescription predictors. Results: Overall, 32.4% of the participants prescribed systemic antibiotics with scaling and root planing. When comparing the 2 groups, the authors found that 46.4% and 18.7% of the AAP and ADA members, respectively, prescribed systemic antibiotics with scaling and root planing (P = .0001). The authors found a significant difference between the AAP and ADA groups in prescription timing (P = .01). The multivariable model revealed that practitioner sex (P = .03), AAP membership (P = .0001), and years of practitioner experience (P = .04) predicted antibiotic prescription practices. The geographic location, practice setting, and occupation type did not predict antibiotic prescription patterns. Conclusion: The authors found a lack of clarity related to prescription timing, factors determining prescription patterns, and selection of patient population who would benefit more from antibiotics. Practical Implications: This study confirmed a lack of clarity related to antibiotic prescription patterns in combination with nonsurgical periodontal treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)979-988
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Dental Association
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


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