Common Antibiotics Used in Dentistry

Common Antibiotics Used in Dentistry

Posted by Dental Didactics CE on Jul 12th 2022

Common Dental Antibiotics

Dentists utilize several first-line antibiotics to treat bacterial dental infections. It is estimated that 10% of all antibiotic prescriptions are written to treat dental infections. The most common antibiotics prescribed by dentists include:

  • Amoxicillin
  • Amoxicillin with Clavulanate (Augmentin)- combines two antibiotic medications with improved penetration into tissues
  • Penicillin
  • Cephalexin
  • Clindamycin
  • Azithromycin (Z-pack)

The antibiotics usually prescribed first are Amoxicillin, Augmentin, and Penicillin. In cases needing a stronger, or broader spectrum approach, Cephalexin and Azithromycin are prescribed. Clindamycin is utilized in Amoxicillin-allergic patients, but it is used sparingly due to gastrointestinal side effects.

Problems with Prescribing Dental Antibiotics

Dentists are trained to prescribe antibiotics with discretion and professional judgment to prevent Antibiotic Resistance and problematic systemic side effects and allergic reactions.

Antibiotics are prescribed only for treatment of bacterial infections and not viral infections. They are ineffective against viruses, but may be prescribed to prevent bacterial infections secondary to viral outbreaks.