Why Dentist Prescribe Antibiotics- Ask a Dentist in Spring Texas - Vita Dental Spring
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Why Dentist Prescribe Antibiotics- Ask a Dentist in Spring Texas

Why Dentist Prescribe Antibiotics- Ask a Dentist in Spring Texas 150 150 Tony

Why Dentist Prescribe Antibiotics- Ask a Dentist in Spring Texas

Antibiotics are commonly used in dentistry just like any other medical field purposely for prophylactic and therapeutic purposes. Any dentist wants to achieve the best results in a patient including relieving them from any unpleasant complications. In some cases, there is a subsequent abuse of antibiotics instead of use. Therapeutic antibiotics are prescribed to tackle diseases of the hard and soft tissues in the oral cavity after possible surgical failure. On the other hand, prophylaxis antibiotics are used for prevention measures against endocarditis. In general, antibiotics are prescribed for oral conditions connected to oral surgical and periodontal infections.

Prophylaxis antibiotics must be active against major pathogens and also achieve a tissue loading dosage before bacteria is introduced. Antibiotics used during therapy are essential in cases where the infection is already attacking the oral surfaces. For that reason, the antibiotic must be at high levels and have long-lasting abilities to present the desired effect. According to experts, the most important role of antibiotics in the prevention and treatment of infections initiated in the oral cavity that have the potential to spread to other adjacent or even distant organs in the body.

Therapeutic Antibiotics Prescribed By Dentists

Most oral infections are associated with pain. A significant percentage of dental pain originates from chronic inflammation of pulpal origin which normally calls for surgical intervention rather than antibiotics. Cases that are best reserved for antibiotic use include dry socket, periapical infection, and pulpitis. Antimicrobials can only be used in periodontal conditions where the surgery has failed or is impossible and where there is a possible spread of infections to other parts of the body. There are a limited number of oral lesions that are indicated for antibiotic use, and these include pericoronitis, periodontal abscess and acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis that cannot be eradicative via surgical methods. Antibiotic therapy requires that antibiotics have characteristics such as lack of propensity to induce resistant mutants, rapid inclination to act, bactericidal activity, ability to penetrate easily into tissues and high resistance to adverse conditions set by the infection. Oral antibiotics have been known to improve a patient’s condition for 2 or 3 days at most.

These antibiotics should be prescribed for the correct duration, dosage, and frequency to avoid adverse side effects such as the development of resistant bacteria. Longer durations past 21 days counting, may result in the selection of resistant bacteria and a significant reduction in the ability of the affected areas to resist recurrent colonization by harmful bacteria that could lead to superimposed infections by super resistant yeasts and bacteria.

Prophylactic Antibiotics Prescribed By Dentists

Prophylactic antibiotics are taken before dental procedures to help reduce any likelihood of post-surgical complications such as dry sockets, infections, and infective endocarditis. However, this is not warranted for all patients. Medically fit patients can recover from surgical procedures just fine while dependent on their strong immune systems. According to experts, a single dose of metronidazole is close to ineffective in preventing the development of dry sockets. Prophylaxis antibiotics are not required during most dentoalveolar surgical procedures.

There has been reported abuse of prophylactic antibiotics used to prevent post-surgical infection after dental manipulations. The antibiotics were also used to cover either improperly sterilized equipment or a defect in clinical technique; hence a “just in case” principle is practiced.


Dentists will always recommend drainage treatment for periapical periodontitis and dentoalveolar abscess via incisional drainage. Antibiotic therapy is recommended for severe infections like pericoronitis, facial cellulitis, necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis and lateral periodontal abscess. The severity of the infection determines the type of antibiotic prescribed and the dosing frequency considering the existence of predominant causative bacteria.

Amoxicillin, for example, is recommended for dental infections in 250mg to 500 mg every 8 hours dosage. However, amoxicillin should be prescribed as a short-term course for oral therapy. Patients allergic to penicillin can use clindamycin in 375mg to 625 mg dosage. All these antibiotics should not exceed seven days of use.

For severe conditions, a high dosage of a better and stronger antibiotic may be needed. Research shows that dental abscesses are resistant to amoxicillin. A more recent study ascertains that the bacteria associated with endodontic infections are susceptible to amoxicillin. However, patients only require 2 or 3 days to determine whether the treatment should proceed longer or stopped.

On the downside of the abuse of antibiotics is when dental patients pressure their dentists into prescribing antibiotics and worse, others self-medicate. We can, therefore, conclude that dentists can improve their antibiotic prescription practices by creating awareness among other dental practitioners, chemists, and patients on the recommended guidelines. Moreover, the importance of creating awareness among the general public should not be ignored. Also having a trustworthy dentist will keep you on the know-how on whether or not to use antibiotics. At Vita Dental clinic we have a team that is ready to take you through your journey to dental health until you recover fully.