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Article: Volume 44 Number 4 Page 275 - April 2017

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  Dent Update 2017; 44: 275-283

Pharmacology:  Antibiotic Guardians: the Role of the Dental Profession

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Abstract: The increasing emergence of antibiotic resistance is a major international public health problem. As a consequence, it is essential that steps are taken to conserve the effectiveness of existing antimicrobial agents. Consumption of antibiotics is the prime contributor to the development of resistance. General dental practitioners write almost 1 out of 10 prescriptions for antibiotics in primary care within the UK and therefore the prudent prescribing of antibiotics in dentistry has never been more vital. This paper outlines the impact of antimicrobial resistance on modern healthcare, describes the current use of antibiotics in general dental practice, and recommends pragmatic ways in which dental practitioners can evaluate and optimize their prescribing.

Clinical relevance: Dental professionals have a responsibility to both their patients and the wider community to prescribe antibiotics appropriately.

Author notes: Anwen L Cope, PhD, BDS, MFDS RCPSG, Specialty Trainee in Dental Public Health, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and Michael AO Lewis, PhD, BDS, FDS RCPS, FRCPath, FDS RCS, FFGDP(UK), FHEA, Professor of Oral Medicine, School of Dentistry, Cardiff University, UK.

Objective: To appreciate the role of the dental profession in addressing the problems associated with antimicrobial resistance.