The misuse of antibiotics in dentistry happens often, but by consulting an endodontist during diagnosis, the risk can be greatly reduced.
In the dental practice, there are generally two reasons why a patient might be prescribed antibiotics: prophylactic prevention or therapeutic treatment. Prophylactic antibiotics are prescribed to prevent diseases that begin in the oral flora, but could potentially affect other parts of the body. Most often, these antibiotics are used for the prevention of endocarditis. On the other hand, therapeutic antibiotics are used in dentistry to treat diseases of the hard and soft tissues in the oral cavity; usually after local debridement has failed.
The causes for both prophylactic and therapeutic antibiotics fall under the umbrella of endodontic responsibility, meaning it is critical for endodontists to understand antibiotic use and misuse in the industry. At Professional Endodontics, our specialists are trained to be weary of antibiotic use, and in the case that they are necessary, be certain that the prescription isn’t exaggerated.
A Summary of Antibiotics in Dentistry
Despite the lack of clinical evidence demonstrating the need for antibiotics, dentists have been prescribing them for decades, and still do. The reasoning is founded in the dentist’s intention to make their patients well and to prevent unpleasant complications, coupled with the belief that many oral problems are infectious. However, research shows that the signs and symptoms that were believed to be resolved by antibiotics are actually resolved by proper treatment, in spite of antibiotics.
Through clinical studies, researchers are finding that symptoms tend to follow a cyclical path and, therefore, are not subsiding because of the antibiotics, but just as a coinciding effect of the timing. Researchers have also found a correlation between the over-prescribing of antibiotics and an increase in microbial resistance to antibiotics; especially in children. In simpler terms, the resistance to antibiotics can cause illnesses that were once easily treatable to become dangerous, prolonged infections. Some consider this to be one of the world’s most pressing public health problems.
Things to Consider before Prescribing Antibiotics
It is absolutely essential for dentists and endodontists to be certain that the use of antibiotics is necessary before prescribing them. A few things that should be taken into account are:
- What is the severity of the infection upon the initial visit?
- How is the patient’s immune defense status?
- Is the patient medically compromised in any way?
- Has the infection progressed to the extra-oral facial spaces?
This is a short list in comparison to the measures we take at Professional Endodontics before prescribing antibiotics. Our specialists are sensitive to the gravity of this widespread problem. By staying up-to-date in the knowledge of pharmacology in dental practices, as well as continuously reevaluating our methods, Professional Endodontics provides the safest treatment for our patients. If you have any concerns about the use and misuse of antibiotics contact Professional Endodontics and one of our talented endodontists will be happy to answer any questions.
About Professional Endodontics
Professional Endodontics has been exceeding the standard of care in Wayne and Macomb counties for over 50 years. The team specializes with treating issues with the inside of the tooth and goes out of its way to provide a safe easy environment for patients. Each member of the practice is dedicated to providing excellence in patient care and values high-quality relationships with referring dentists and specialists. Each endodontist at Professional Endodontics has been individually chosen as Best Dentists. Thanks to contemporary advances in endodontics, Professional Endodontics is able to use innovative technology to treat and save teeth that have suffered damage to the soft tissue within the roots of the tooth.
Professional Endodontics now offers three state-of-the art facilities in Clinton Township, St. Clair Shores, and a fully renovated Southfield location in the Comerica Tower. All locations offer the latest in advanced dental deliver systems, microscopy, and digital radiography.
29201 Telegraph Road
Southfield, MI 48034