A nationwide survey of French dentists' knowledge and implementation of current guidelines for antibiotic prophylaxis of infective endocarditis in patients with predisposing cardiac conditions

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Objectives.To prevent infective endocarditis in patients with predisposing cardiac conditions, antibiotic prophylaxis is recommended worldwide, except in the United Kingdom. To determine the relevance of this strategy, investigating how the current guidelines are applied is crucial. The first aim of this study was to assess dentists' implementation of the current guidelines. The secondary aims were to identify relevant areas to improve the training of dentists and to determine temporal trends in practitioners' attitudes by comparison with 2 previous surveys conducted in 1991 and 2001.Study Design.An electronic national survey was sent to the 12,000 member practitioners of the French Union for Oral Health.Results.Even though 58.9% of the respondents stated that their knowledge of current guidelines was good, a scoring system showed that only 34.5% had overall knowledge of these guidelines.Conclusions.This study revealed relevant areas to improve the training of dentists, such as knowledge of some cardiac conditions, the potential side effects of the antibiotics used, and the pathogenesis of infective endocarditis. Consequently, dentists' knowledge should be improved before any conclusions can be drawn on the relevance of this antibiotic prophylaxis strategy and its influence on infective endocarditis incidence.

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