Dental students' knowledge regarding the indications for antibiotics in the management of endodontic infections.

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Abstract

AIM

To determine the knowledge of undergraduate Spanish dental students regarding the indications of systemic antibiotics in the management of endodontic infections.

METHODOLOGY

The final year dental students from four Spanish dental schools were requested to answer a one-page questionnaire on the indications for systemic antibiotics in the treatment of endodontic infections. One hundred and seventy-five students were asked to participate in this research. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and chi-square test.

RESULTS

One hundred and four students (93.7%) completed satisfactorily the survey and were included in the study. The average duration of antibiotic therapy was 7.0 ± 2.0 days. All respondents chose amoxicillin as the first-choice antibiotic in patients with no medical allergies, alone (47%) or associated with clavulanic acid (53%). The first drug of choice for patients with an allergy to penicillin was clindamycin 300 mg (99%). For cases of irreversible pulpitis, up to 63% of students would prescribe antibiotics. For the scenario of a necrotic pulp, symptomatic apical periodontitis and no swelling, 44% would prescribe antibiotics. Almost 40% of students would prescribe antibiotics for necrotic pulps with asymptomatic apical periodontitis and a sinus tract.

CONCLUSIONS

It is necessary for the Spanish schools of dentistry to improve students' knowledge about antibiotics and their indications in endodontics. Interactive education analysing real endodontic cases using problem-based learning would help students acquire better skills in prescribing antibiotics in pulp-periapical pathosis.

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