Antibiotic resistance and relevance to general dental practice in Australia

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Abstract

Antibiotic resistance is a well-established global public health crisis, with the use and misuse of antibiotics being the principal cause of bacterial resistance. Studies in both Australia and overseas have demonstrated that the dental prescribing of antibiotics is increasing and that dentists tend to prescribe antibiotics unnecessarily and for incorrect clinical indications. Dental practitioners in Australia also prefer to prescribe moderate to broad-spectrum antibacterial agents and make some inappropriate antibiotic prescribing choices. This review aims to inform dentists about the overall scope and development of bacterial resistance, approaches and challenges to reducing resistance and, ultimately, the role of dental prescribers in practising with optimal antibiotic stewardship.

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