Let's keep antibiotics working and help save lives
Antimicrobial resistance is a global problem that leads to antibiotics no longer being effective in treating even simple infections. There are serious consequences for everyone, but particularly those undergoing major surgery, chemotherapy, organ or stem cell transplants. Every year, 25,000 people across Europe, and 700,000 worldwide, die from antibiotic-resistant infections, and the UK government predicts the annual global toll could be 10 million by 2050. Dentists have a vital role to play in keeping antibiotics working by prescribing them only when necessary, and by educating patients to take and dispose of them responsibly, and FGDP(UK) is enabling dentists to play their part.
Health Education England has produced a short e-learning module, Reducing Antimicrobial Resistance: An Introduction.
Know when to prescribe
Dentists issue around 5-7% of all antibiotic prescriptions in the NHS. Since 2015, dentists and other healthcare providers in the UK have had a statutory duty to reduce the risk of antimicrobial resistance by ensuring appropriate use of antibiotics, and FGDP(UK)'s evidence-based guidance, Antimicrobial Prescribing for General Dental Practitioners, is there to help you know when to prescribe, what to prescribe, for how long and at what dosage.
Test your knowledge
Developed and hosted by the British Association of Oral Surgeons, the Antimicrobial Stewardship e-Learning Modules are free to take and of relevance to all general dental practitioners, including those who place dental implants, undertake minor oral surgery or practise in specialist areas. They consist of three scenario-based quizzes, each of which provides a printable e-certificate of one hour’s verified CPD upon successful completion. Feedback is provided along the way, with the aim that by the end of the modules, participants will be able to demonstrate application of the principles of sound antimicrobial stewardship to common clinical scenarios.
Audit your management of dental infections
Clinical audits of antibiotic prescribing have shown a reduction in the number of prescriptions and in the number of inappropriate prescriptions, as well as a dramatic improvement in the accuracy of dose, frequency and duration for antibiotic prescriptions.
Co-developed by the FGDP(UK) and the British Dental Association, and endorsed by Public Health England, the Antimicrobial Prescribing Self-Audit Tool is a data collection sheet accompanied by a comprehensive guide enabling dental prescribers to complete a clinical audit of their antimicrobial prescribing and/or their overall management of dental infections. It is designed to be used alongside Antimicrobial Prescribing for General Dental Practitioners to enable a comparison of audited practice against standards.
Please note that FGDP(UK) is not able to answer any technical queries about the tool, however contact details are provided on the instructions tab.
Antibiotic prophylaxis against Infective Endocarditis
The Faculty also endorses the Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme's implementation advice on the prophylactic use of antibiotics against infective endocarditis.
Educate your patients
Telling people how to fight antimicrobial resistance will help save lives, maybe even your own or that of someone close to you, and dentists are well-placed to raise awareness among their patients. FGDP(UK) is supporting the NHS's 'Antibiotics Don't Cure Toothache' poster and patient information leaflet, which aim to help patients understand that dental care is in most cases a painless and more effective treatment for dental pain and infections than antibiotics. Please consider putting the poster up, and making copies of the leaflet available, in your practice.
You can also use the hashtags #AntibioticGuardian and #keepantibioticsworking on social media, and take the dental pledges at http://antibioticguardian.com/.
Dental Antimicrobial Stewardship Toolkit
These and further resources are available in the Dental Antimicrobial Stewardship Toolkit, which was developed by FGDP(UK), the British Dental Association and the Dental Sub-Group of Public Health England's English surveillance programme for antimicrobial utilisation and resistance (ESPAUR).