November 18, 2021
by FDI World Dental Federation
After years of consecutive decline, the rate of dental antibiotic prescribing increased by over a fifth in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions. Dentistry was the only part of England’s publicly-funded National Health Service to experience an increase. The steepest rise occurred when dental practices were closed from March to June 2020 during the first wave of COVID-19, and it has been slow to decline since. The data has been released by the UK government today ahead of the World Health Organization´s World Antimicrobial Awareness (AMR) Week.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has been unforgiving,” said Wendy Thompson, a member of FDI World Dental Federation´s AMR Working Group.
“But using antibiotics to make up for a lack of access to urgent dental care is a risk to patient safety and should be avoided wherever possible. We need to start treating patients with acute dental pain or infection, not medicating them.”