Practices and
Prescription Writing
In Dentistry

Prescribing privileges are controlled by the state licensing
- Delegated powers by the state legislatures
• Professions with prescribing privileges:
 Physician
 Dentist
 Podiatrist
 Veterinarian
 Optometrist
 Nurse Practitioner or Midwives
 Physician’s assistants
 Pharmacists

How are we different from Quacks?

Does our training distinguish us?

Or is it because we use science in our clinical

How much are we influenced by the medical
representatives in our prescribing habits?

Ask these questions to yourself and search for
honest answers.

we commonly prescribe antibiotics and

How often are we aware why we prescribe a

antibiotic or pain-killer?

How much are we contributing to the problem
of antibiotic resistance?

Have you ever asked
yourself whether your
children be able to fight their
infections in the future with
so many resistant bacteria

Too many commercials(companies).
Too many drugs.
Many Dosage forms.
Too many generics for each drug

Rational use of drugs requires that patients
receive medications :
 Appropriate to their clinical needs.
 In doses that meet their own

 For an adequate period of time,
 And at lowest cost to them and their
community (WHO 1985).

 Appropriate indication.
The decision to prescribe drug(s) is entirely
based on medical rationale and that drug
therapy is an effective and safe treatment

 Appropriate drug.
The selection of drugs is based on
 efficacy.

 safety.
 cost considerations.
Storage Condition.

 Appropriate patient.
 No contra-indications exist

the adverse reactions is minimal,
the drug is acceptable to the patient.

 Appropriate information.
regarding his or her condition and the
medication(s) that are prescribed. Patients
should be provided with
 important
clear information

 Appropriate monitoring.
The anticipated and unexpected effects of
medications should be appropriately

The number of drugs per prescription is often
more than needed, with an average of 2.4 up
to 10 drugs, while generally one or two drugs
should be sufficient.
Wrong drug for a specific condition.
Drugs of doubtful efficacy.
Drugs of uncertain safety status.
Use of drugs in wrong dosage and duration.

In case of analgesics we need to know which
one will be appropriate for patients needs so
that he will get relief from his pain.

In case of antibiotics we should choose a
proper antibiotic which will take care of his
condition and assist his body in early
resolution of his ailment.

We should also know exactly in which
circumstances/ medical conditions preventive
prophylactic cover is needed.

we have a professional responsibility for
emergency dental care. When patients come
with trauma, acute spread of infection, or
hemorrhage, it is our duty to render
treatment so that he gets relief in a
reasonable time.
 In many acute dental conditions,

extirpation of the pulp or extraction of the
tooth will be necessary.

Prescribing antibiotics is an adjunct in
many such situations. When it is clinically
indicated, it is definitely of therapeutic
benefit to the patient.

According to the American Dental
Association, the following guidelines should
be observed when prescribing antibacterial

But systemic antibiotics should be used with
caution because of the possibility of toxicity,
side effects, the development of resistant
strains of microbes, and allergic reactions.

1- Make an accurate diagnosis;
2- Use appropriate antibiotics and dosing
3- Consider using narrow-spectrum antibacterial
drugs (Clindamycin, Metronidazole, penicillin V
Potassium) in simple infections to minimize
disturbance of the normal micro flora, and
preserve the use of broad-spectrum drugs
(ampicillin, amoxicillin, erythromycin,
tetracycline, etc.,) for more complex infections

4- Avoid unnecessary use of antibacterial drugs in
treating viral infections;
5 - If treating empirically, revise treatment
regimen based on patient progress or test
6 - Obtain thorough knowledge of the side effects
and drug interactions of an antibacterial drug
before prescribing it;
7 - Educate the patient regarding proper use of the
drug and stress the importance of completing
the full course of therapy (that is, taking all
doses for the prescribed treatment time).

American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
(AAPD) has given recommendations for
clinical guideline on appropriate use of
antibiotic therapy.
Conservative use of antibiotics is indicated to
minimize the risk of developing resistance to
current antibiotic regimens.

Whenever an antibiotic is prescribed to a
female patient taking oral contraceptives to
prevent pregnancy, the patient must be
advised to use additional techniques of birth
control during antibiotic therapy and for at
least 1 week beyond the last dose as the
antibiotic may render the oral contraceptive

American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
recommends the following general principles
when prescribing antibiotics for the pediatric

When a child presents with a facial swelling
secondary to a dental infection, he should
receive immediate dental attention.

Depending on clinical findings, treatment
may consist of treating or extracting the
tooth/teeth in question with antibiotic

Severity of the infection, the ability to obtain
adequate anesthesia, and the medical status
of the child should be taken into

Bacteria can gain access to the pulpal tissue
through caries, exposed pulp or dentinal
tubules, cracks into the dentin, and defective
While rendering treatments like pulpotomy,
pulpectomy, or extraction, antibiotic therapy
usually is not indicated

If the dental infection is contained within the
pulpal tissue or the immediately surrounding
tissue. In such a case, there will be no
systemic signs of an infection (i.e., no fever
and no facial swelling).

Viral conditions such as acute primary
herpetic gingivostomatitis should not be
treated with antibiotic therapy unless there is
strong evidence to indicate that a secondary
bacterial infection exists.

Analgesics are another group of drugs
commonly prescribed by dentists.
Our pain management goals should be:

Pain Management Goals

To maintain maximal patient comfort.
To minimize unwanted drug side effects.
To rapidly return injured tissue to function.

Pre-procedural analgesia can be employed for
delaying the onset of postoperative pain and
to reduce its magnitude.
But it has disadvantages like GI upset in
patient with empty stomach and GI upset in
anxious patient.
Ibuprofen 400mg ½ hour before appointment
can be prescribed for this purpose.

 Step 1: Define the patient’s problem
 Make specific & Accurate diagnosis.

Step 2:Consider the pathophysiological
implication of the diagnosis

Step 3: Specify the therapeutic objective .

 Step 4: Select the Drug of choice
 Step 5: Determine the appropriate dosing
 Step 6: Devise a plan for monitoring the
drug’s action and determine an end point for
 Step 5: Give information, instructions and
warnings (patient education).

Finally, your drug selecting criteria should be :




cost of the medicine.

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