Endocarditis prophylaxis and congenital heart defects in the Norwegian Public Dental Service



Tine Birkeland Sivertsen, Department of peadiatric dentistry, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, Institute of Clinical Odontology, University of Bergen, Aarstadveien 19, NO-5020 Bergen, Norway.

Tel: 47 92 42 1553 |

Email: tine.sivertsen@ok.uib.no



The aims of this study are (i) to assess how dental health workers of the Public Dental Service, PDS, carry out endocarditis prophylaxis related to dental treatment for children and adolescents with congenital heart defects (CHD) and to identify factors influencing their appropriate use of guidelines and (ii) to assess how dental health workers perceive any characteristics of patients with CHD.


This cross-sectional study was based on self-administered questionnaires mailed to all dentists and hygienists in the PDS in three Norwegian counties.


The response rates among dentists (n = 130) and dental hygienists (n = 54) were, respectively, 63% and 68%. The findings revealed an over-prescription of endocarditis antibiotics to patients with CHD. Most of the background variables investigated did not influence the responders' prescription decision for appropriate use of the current guidelines on the topic. The only significant factor was whether or not the respondent considered that the endocarditis prophylaxis guidelines were consistent and easy to follow. Compared with healthy children, dental healthcare workers felt less confident when providing dental treatment to children with CHD.


There is room for improved education about children with CHD in dentistry and dental education.