A significant percentage of antibacterial agents that dentists prescribe are used for the prevention of, rather than the treatment of, an established infection. In general, when a single effective drug is used to prevent infection from a specific microorganism - or to eradicate it either immediately or soon after it has become established - chemoprophylaxis frequently is successful. Consequently, chemoprophylaxis may be appropriate for preventing secondary bacterial infection in patients who are ill with other diseases. In situations where bacteremia is highly predictable, it would seem wise to administer prophylactic antibiotics for high-risk patients to minimize morbidity and mortality; however, clinicians should avoid "reflex prescribing" or "rational activism." Before instituting antibacterial chemotherapy to prevent illness, dentists should weigh the benefits and risks to the patient as well as to the community.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||15|
|State||Published - Mar 1 2005|
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