Can Dentist Prescribe Antibiotics – Dentist In Spring Texas
Dentists do prescribe antibiotics for treatment purposes as well as prevention of infections. Use of systemic antibiotics is limited in dentistry because most dental and periodontal infections are best treated using surgical procedures and oral hygiene care. Dentists mainly prescribe antibiotics to curb the rising number of oral conditions mainly orofacial infections. Most orofacial infections emanate from odontogenic infections. For this reason, prescribing antibiotics has become an essential practice in the field. According to recent statistics, antibiotics account for the vast number of medicines prescribed by dentists. These include clindamycin, tetracyclines, beta-lactams, metronidazole, and macrolides.
An antibiotic prescription is sometimes associated with unfavorable side effects such as fatal anaphylactic shock, developed resistance to antibiotics and gastrointestinal disturbances. There has been an incline in cases associated with resistance problems over the years probably linked to the abuse of antibiotics in the dentistry and medicine field. We are living in an era where some bacterial species are resistant to the available antibiotics.
Most patients rush to the dentist with primary inflammatory condition tagged along with pain. A significant figure of dental pain originates from chronic infections of the pulpal origin, in which most are handled via surgical procedures rather than antibiotics. This leaves dry socket, pulpitis and acute periapical infections to be handled through the administering of antibiotics. Use of antibiotics on inflammatory periodontal infections can only be used when the condition heightens to acute levels and drainage becomes an impossible task, or the local spread of infection is too deep.
Clinical situations that are allowed to administer antibiotic therapy include oral infection accompanied by the systematic spread of trismus or lymphadenopathy and even high body temperatures. A case of facial cellulitis is a serious infection that should be handled by antibiotics before it spreads to the rest of the body via the blood or lymph. Periodontal abscess or ulcerative gingivitis can be handled through antibiotic use.
Dentists are professionals who should understand the harm that comes with prescribing antibiotics for non-clinical use. Antibiotics should be prescribed at the right dose, frequency, and duration so that the side effects and development of resistant bacteria within the body is prevented.
Prophylactic Antibiotic Prescriptions
Prophylactic antibiotics are taken before a dental procedure. They reduce the likelihood of post-surgical complications such as infections, infective endocarditis, and dry sockets among other systematic complications. However, in some cases such as wisdom teeth removal, in medically fit patients prescription of antibiotics is unwarranted. While some dentists find it fit to administer a dose of metronidazole to prevent dry sockets, studies find the practice ineffective. In most cases, antibiotic prophylaxis is not recommended in non-medically compromised dental patients. It takes a good dentist to know when to offer a prophylactic antibiotic or when to back down and go ahead with the procedure.
Some courses have been introduced on the proper prescription of antibiotics. Empirical antibiotic therapy is recommended in severe cases like the facial cellulitis, necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis, and abscess. The severity of the condition and type of causative bacteria highly determines the type of antibiotic and its dosage in a patient.
A dentist should prescribe amoxicillin for dental infections every eight hours with a dosage of 250 mg to 500 mg. For penicillin-allergic patients, clindamycin can be administered in 150 mg to 450 mg doses every 6 hours. Metronidazole is also a great option for those allergic to penicillin with a dosage of 200 mg every 8 hours. The medication should not exceed 3-7 days. This is why over the counter self-medication antibiotics is highly discouraged.
For the extremely severe odontogenic infections, dentists will often prescribe higher doses of antibiotics. Bacteria causing endodontic infections are vulnerable to huge doses of amoxicillin. A dentist will often examine the severity of one’s oral condition before deciding on the drug and dosage to consider. The treatment provided should improve the condition of the infection site or be stopped if proven otherwise.
Some oral inflammatory infections such as dentine hypersensitivity, cracked teeth, cannot fall under this review since antibiotics can’t better the conditions. While some antibiotics are not prescribed or administered via a dentist’s guidance, the general public is at fault with the abuse of antibiotics. For this reason, the public should be educated on the importance of restricting the use and even over the use of antibiotics unless in severe cases of infection. Unluckily, patients will outrightly expect an antibiotic for the handling of a toothache even before the dentist examines the condition. Not only do dental patients pressure dentists into prescribing antibiotics but they also self-medicate themselves putting their immune systems at risk.
Creating awareness among dental practitioners and dental patients on the strict prescription of antibiotics will keep the side effects of abuse of antibiotics at bay. Book an appointment at Vita Dental clinic for a proper check up before prescription of antibiotics. Let us help you.