Antibiotic therapy for dental treatment should conform to the principles intended to minimise the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria. Before prescribing an antibiotic, there should be a clear indication, based on clinical and sometimes laboratory evidence, that a bacterial infection is present.

Acute dental infections are often painful and include alveolar abscesses, tooth impaction and eruption infections, acute necrotising gingival infections and necrotising eruption flap infections. These infections are all able to cause substantial, and sometimes serious, systemic effects. The treatment of these acute infections requires drainage and removal of the source of the infection. When clinically indicated, surgical treatment can be supported by antibiotics.

Long-term dental infection is often asymptomatic. These infections may involve soft or hard tissue and can cause considerable loss of tissue. Again, treatment is mainly surgical, occasionally supported by antibiotic therapy, especially if the infection becomes acute.

When selecting an appropriate antibiotic, dentists should refer to a suitable Australian source of information.1,2

References

  1. A guide to the use of drugs in dentistry. 12th ed. Sydney: Australian Dental Association, 1996:103-9. .
  2. A guide to the use of drugs in dentistry. 12th ed. Sydney: Australian Dental Association, 1996:103-9. .
  3. Therapeutic guidelines: antibiotic. 10th ed. Melbourne: Therapeutic Guidelines Limited, 1998. .
  4. Therapeutic guidelines: antibiotic. 10th ed. Melbourne: Therapeutic Guidelines Limited, 1998. .
  5. Therapeutic guidelines: antibiotic. 10th ed. Melbourne: Therapeutic Guidelines Limited, 1998. .
  6. Therapeutic guidelines: antibiotic. 10th ed. Melbourne: Therapeutic Guidelines Limited, 1998. .
  7. Therapeutic guidelines: antibiotic. 10th ed. Melbourne: Therapeutic Guidelines Limited, 1998. .
  8. Writing Group for Therapeutic Guidelines: Antibiotic. Therapeutic guidelines: antibiotic. 10th ed. Melbourne: Therapeutic Guidelines Limited, 1998.
  9. Woods R. A guide to the use of drugs in dentistry. 12th ed. Sydney: Australian Dental Association, 1996:103-9.