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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 12-16

The role of dental surgeons in combating drug resistance: A study in South India

1 Department of Oral Pathology, SIBAR Institute of Dental Sciences, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India
2 Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Indira Gandhi Institute of Dental Sciences, Puducherry, India
3 Department of Prosthodontics and Crown & Bridge, Rajah Muthiah Dental College and Hospital, Annamalai Nagar, Tamil Nadu, India
4 Department of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics, SRM Institute of Dental Sciences, Chennai, India
5 Department of Oral Pathology, Rajah Muthiah Dental College and Hospital, Annamalai Nagar, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Ravi Teja Chitturi
Department of Oral Pathology, SIBAR Institute of Dental Sciences, Takkellapadu, Guntur - 522 509, Andhra Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2231-0738.147457

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Objectives: One of the reasons for an important global concern i.e., antibiotic resistance is the pattern of antibiotic prescription by doctors. Knowledge regarding essential medicines and the rational use of medicines by doctors is important to combat drug resistance. This study was designed to study the knowledge of dental surgeons in south India regarding antibiotics required for various dental infections and also to assess the various factors that affect their prescription. Materials and Methods: A total 700 private dentists were randomly selected and questionnaires were sent by post or electronic media. The replies were collected and the response to each question was analyzed and expressed as absolute frequencies. Results: Over 80% of the dental surgeons correctly recognized the need to prescribe antibiotics when there was evidence of systemic spread, but over half of the dentists prescribed antibiotics even when a localized fluctuant swelling, for which antibiotics are not required. Also, 20-30% of dentists prescribed antibiotics unnecessarily for conditions such as chronic marginal gingivitis and acute pulpitis. Very importantly we found that there were many dentists' prescriptions that were affected by non-clinical factors, such as, patients' expectation of a prescription, work pressure, lack of time, and uncertainty in diagnosis to name a few. Conclusion: The results show that knowledge and antibiotic prescription pattern among dental surgeons is suboptimal. It is very important to provide continuing dental education in this aspect, to combat the threat of drug resistance.

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