Antibiotic prophylaxis prescribing practices of dentists in Singapore
Infective endocarditis is a serious complication that results in significant morbidity and mortality in susceptible patients. The guidelines for antibiotic prophylaxis have been updated by the American Heart Association and National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. The antibiotic prophylaxis prescribing practices among dentists in Singapore are unknown.
To determine the specific infective endocarditis antibiotic prophylaxis prescribing practices of dentists in Singapore.
A questionnaire survey was sent through an email link and by postal mail. Statistical analysis was carried out using SPSS 19.0.
Responses were received from 458 dentists (34.3% response rate), of which 278 (65.9%) were general practitioners. The majority of respondents (39.8%) followed the American Heart Association 2007 guidelines and 30.2% followed cardiologists’ recommendations. The accuracy of prescriptions for 13 cardiac conditions and 12 dental procedures were evaluated. The median number of accurate answers for cardiac conditions was eight for the American Heart Association 1999 guidelines, and four for the American Heart Association 2007 and National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidelines, respectively. The median number of accurate answers for dental procedures was generally high, both for dentists who followed the American Heart Association 1999 guidelines (median = 10) and American Heart Association 2007 (median = 9) guidelines. Majority of respondents (82.8%) felt that developing a local guideline would be beneficial to the local dental community.
Dentists were accurate in their prescriptions of antibiotic prophylaxis for dental procedures, but not for cardiac conditions. It may be helpful to attain a consensus among local cardiologists and dentists to unify the antibiotic prophylaxis prescription practices in Singapore.