Drug cost implications for antibiotic prophylaxis for dental procedures

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To determine the potential economic impact from the practice of antibiotic prophylaxis for dental procedures.

Study Design.

We estimated the prevalence of patients in the United States with 15 medical conditions and devices. We multiplied the prevalence for each patient population by the percentage of specialists recommending prophylaxis, then by the estimated number of dental office visits per year, and then by an average pharmacy cost to arrive at a total estimated range of annual cost for this practice.


The 15 medical conditions and devices included in the present study involve upward of 20 million people and an estimated annual cost between $19,880,279 and $143,685,823. The actual cost may be far greater because of an underestimation of these prevalence figures and the use of antibiotic prophylaxis for additional patient populations.


Our data suggest a significant cost for antibiotic prophylaxis in the dental practice setting and the need for evidence-based recommendations concerning this practice.

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