As antimicrobial resistance and the negative consequences of antibiotic use continue to spread, the Minnesota Dental Association (MDA), the Minnesota Department of Health, and the Minnesota Board of Dentistry have released a fact sheet to help dentists improve how they use antibiotics.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 2 million people develop infections from antibiotic-resistant bacteria each year in the United States, and 23,000 die from associated causes. The CDC calls widespread antibiotic use a major driver of antibiotic resistance. Also, dentists prescribe about 10% of all antibiotics in outpatient settings in the United States.
Stewardship interventions can improve individual patient outcomes, reduce the burden of antibiotic resistance, and save healthcare dollars, the MDA reports. As part of the One Health Minnesota Antibiotic Stewardship Strategic Plan, the state has partnered with the MDA and the Board of Dentistry to help dentists better understand their role in addressing the issue.
The MDA and its more than 3,000 members have made antibiotic stewardship a priority and are taking proactive measures to improve practices. This includes a commitment to demonstrate dedication to and accountability for optimizing antibiotic prescribing and patient safety. Dentists are urged to implement new policies and follow best practices.
“As dentists, we know that dental care is in fact healthcare,” said R. Davis Resch, DDS, president of the MDA. “I am proud that the MDA is taking responsibility for advocating for both dentists and the public when it comes to this issue.”