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Acta Odontol Scand. 2018 Apr;76(3):204-211. doi: 10.1080/00016357.2017.1402209. Epub 2017 Nov 21.

Reduced antibiotic prescription rates following physician-targeted interventions in a dental practice.

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a Research Institute , Apple Tree Dental Hospital , Goyang-si , Gyeonggi-do , South Korea.
b Dental Research Institute, Graduate School of Dentistry , Seoul National University , Seoul , South Korea.



The prescription rate for antibiotics in dental clinics is not declining despite the increase in the antibiotic resistance problem. In this study, we observed the change in antibiotic prescription rates by dentists in a Korean dental hospital for various treatments after conducting interventions targeting dentists.


The first intervention was to distribute guidelines. The second intervention was to remove the bundled prescription button containing antibiotics from the Electronic Medical Record system. A total of 22,098 treatment records were divided into 12 main treatment categories, and Chi-square tests and logistic regression analyses were performed.


After the interventions were applied, the overall prescription rate for antibiotics dropped. The antibiotic prescription rate decreased by an odds ratio of 0.774 (95% CI: 0.686-0.873) after intervention 1 and by an odds ratio of 0.574 (95% CI: 0.501-0.658) after intervention 2. The treatments with significantly reduced antibiotic prescription rates were extraction for orthodontic treatment, dental implant surgery, extraction of an impacted tooth and general extraction. These treatments are typically performed in patients without an active infection. The prescription rate did not change for periodontal treatments or endodontic treatments, which are usually performed in patients with an infection. The prescription rate also remained constant for minor operations and other basic treatments.


The interventions induced behavioural changes in the dentists and were effective in lowering the antibiotic prescription rates in a dental hospital. In particular, there was a significant reduction in the prescription rates for implant surgery and tooth extraction in the absence of infection.


Dentists; antibiotics; behavioural sciences; drug; prescriptions

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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