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Antibiotic resistance in dentistry

Dentists have a role to play in reducing the amount of antibiotic prescribing. We are campaigning for properly funded urgent treatment slots and we have called for a removal of the pressures that push dental patients to GPs, to help bring down antibiotic prescribing rates.

Antibiotic prescribing audit tool for dentists

This clinical tool will help you do a simple audit for your antibiotic prescribing actions, or do a more comprehensive review of your management of dental infections.


Antibiotic prescribing tool


Note: This tool is an MS Excel (.xlsm) spreadsheet - we recommend downloading the file to a desktop computer (right-click and 'save as') to use it. 


This tool has been developed by the Dental Subgroup of ESPAUR, which includes representatives from the BDA, FGDP, ACOM and BASCD, amongst a range of other key stakeholders and organisations.


It is designed to be used with the FGDP's Antimicrobial Prescribing for GDPs (available free from the BDA Library for members), to ensure you are prescribing according to the current guidance.

What's the problem with AMR?

Antimicrobial resistance could lead to many modern medical and surgical treatments becoming impossible. Currently 25,000 people die each year in Europe from sepsis caused by antibiotic resistant bacteria.


A report from the House of Common's Health and Social Care Committee estimates that a failure to address the problem of antibiotic resistance could result in ten million deaths, every year, globally by 2050.


What's the issue regarding dentistry and antibiotic resistance?

The Department of Health and Social Care has launched a 5-year action plan and a 20-year vision for tackling antibiotic resistance.


We have urged NHS England to commit to properly funded urgent slots to reduce the need for dental prescriptions.


Figures published by the English Surveillance Programme for Antimicrobial Utilisation and Resistance (ESPAUR) show that dental practices dispensed around a quarter fewer prescriptions for antibiotics in 2017 compared to 2013. 


ESPAUR highlighted our national and international efforts on leading antimicrobial stewardship in dentistry, working with a range of high-level partners to support the One Health agenda.  


What is the BDA doing about antibiotic prescribing in dentistry?

We are calling on Government for a requirement for appropriately funded urgent slots


This will allow dentists to establish a differential diagnosis and provide appropriate interventive treatment when required, rather than prescribe antibiotics.


We're lobbying for public engagement on the issue of antimicrobial resistance - focusing on disease prevention, management of expectations and information on the correct use of antimicrobials.

We are part of Public Health England's dental working group on antimicrobial utilisation and resistance. We also continue to work collaboratively towards the One Health goals alongside medical, pharmaceutical, veterinary and international colleagues.

We are working with the Council of European Dentists to ensure cohesive action across Europe. Through working together we hope to make a bigger impact and ensure patients are treated effectively.


EAAD web badge


Each year, we support the World Health Organisation's Antimicrobial Resistance Awareness Week and the European Antibiotic Awareness Day - which both take place in November.


Find out more

Read our blogs on antibiotic prescribing, for the latest updates and opinions on this issue.


Antibiotic prescribing resources and links for dentists


​Working for you

Through our policy and campaigning work we are able to ensure that the concerns of all sections of the profession are raised and that dentists' voices are heard at a national level: join us.

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