An analysis of the clinical appropriateness of out-of-hours emergency dental prescribing of antibiotics in Northern Ireland

Kathryn Burnett, Jennifer McKay, Edward Begley, Padraig Kerlin, Donncha O'Carolan, Gerry Cleary, Gerry McKenna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics in dentistry is potentially linked to the development of antimicrobial resistance, as well as being a considerable cost to healthcare. This study analysed the clinical appropriateness of antibiotics prescribed from ‘walk-in’ and telephone triage out-of-hours emergency dental clinics in Northern Ireland.
Methods: Patient and prescribing data were collected from two out-of-hour emergency dental clinics over a two month period between September and December 2017. In total 434 prescriptions were analysed. Clinical appropriateness was determined on a case-by-case basis for each prescription by referencing dental prescribing guidelines.
Results: Over half of the prescriptions analysed (52.77 %) were judged as clinically inappropriate. A total of 19.12% of prescriptions were judged as inappropriate as the antibiotic prescribed was not indicated for the diagnosis recorded by the clinician. Local measures were not attempted in 36.6% of cases. A significant difference (p=0.002) was observed between the clinical appropriateness of prescriptions issued via walk-in and triage appointments with triage appointments issuing more clinically appropriate prescriptions.
Conclusions: A significant number of prescriptions provided in out-of-hours emergency dental clinics in Northern Ireland were judged to be inappropriate according to current dental prescribing guidelines.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Dental Journal
Volume228
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 24 Apr 2020

Keywords

  • dental prescribing
  • clinical appropriateness
  • emergency dental clinics
  • antibiotics

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