Antibiotic Resistance in Dentistry

Antimicrobial resistance is recognized as one of the biggest threats to global health by the World Health Organization and is expected to be responsible for ten million deaths each year by 2050. It happens when the drugs prescribed to treat infections from bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites become ineffective, due to the overuse and misuse of antimicrobial medicines.

If coordinated measures at the global scale are not taken rapidly, the world will be soon plunged into a post-antibiotic era in which common infections will become life-threatening.  

Dentists are responsible for prescribing 10% of all antibiotics for humans.

Antibiotic resistance (ABR) is of particular concern to dental teams, as antibiotics are the class of drugs most prescribed by dentists. About 10% of antibiotic prescriptions are issued by dentists, depending on the country. Moreover, studies have shown that many of these prescriptions were unnecessary.

Clear and relevant guidance is needed to encourage dental teams to optimize the way that they prescribe antibiotics, doing so only when necessary. 

Optimizing the use of antibiotics in dentistry

Over the last few years, FDI has been working to establish a framework and provide tools for dentist, dental teams and national dental associations to tackle ABR. 

In 2019 the FDI General Assembly adopted an FDI Policy Statement that highlights the main ways that dentists can contribute to antibiotic stewardship based on the WHO global action plan on antimicrobial resistance. In 2020, a white paper highlighting the role of dental teams in reducing ABR has been published, providing a framework for effective and coordinated actions to tackle ABR.

The white paper includes an online library of resources with materials from around the world that can be consulted, adopted or adapted to meet local needs. We invite you to create a free account, upload any relevant resources available in your country and draw inspiration from the resources available. Please also share your thoughts or questions in the discussion forum.

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ABR pills

Goal 1

Awareness raising: increase understanding of resistance through education, communication and training.

Goal 2

Advocacy: promote optimal use of antibiotics in dentistry and the integration of dentistry into National Action Plans

Goal 3

Research and knowledge transfer: Promote research into dental antibiotic resistance and stewardship and facilitate collaboration and exchange

AMR Working Group

The FDI Antimicrobial Resistance Working Group is continuing its work with a series of activities to support NDAs and dental teams in tackling ABR and implementing the White Paper recommendations, but this global challenge requires action from all of us.

CHAIR
Dec 2019 - Dec 2020
Prof. Dr Mahesh Verma
India
MEMBER
Dec 2019 - Dec 2020
Prof. David M. Williams
United Kingdom
MEMBER
Dec 2019 - Dec 2020
Dr Philippe Calfon
France
MEMBER
Dec 2019 - Dec 2020
Dr Susie Sanderson
United Kingdom
AMR EXPERT
Dec 2019 - Dec 2020
Dr Wendy Thompson
United Kingdom
AMR EXPERT
Dec 2019 - Dec 2020
Prof. Céline Pulcini

Project activities for 2021

  • Development of an Antibiotic Stewardship Core Outcome Set. This set will provide core metrics for informing and evaluating antibiotic stewardship (ABS) programmes. It will highlight the essential aspects that NDAs, dental teams and research teams should address when designing ABS programmes and evaluating their success and impact. 
     
  • An NDA action statement and pledge for tackling ABR in dentistry. NDAs will be invited to sign this pledge to tackle ABR in each country, by committing to activities in line with the WHO Global Action Plan on AMR and White Paper recommendations. 
     
  • An Early Career Researcher (ECR) Network, to connect and support ECRs and promote dental ABR research. Network events, including journal club webinars and an online forum, will allow ECRs to present their work, exchange ideas and experiences and establish connections. The network will be launched during a satellite symposium at the IADR 2021 General Session. Register here to be part of this network and receive information on coming activities!
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ECR network

ABR in Dentistry: (GARD) Early Career Researcher network

Resources

  • FDI Statement
    WHA74 - FDI statement on Items 13.1, 13.5, and 13.8
    Statement

    On behalf of FDI World Dental Federation (FDI), the official representative body of over 1 million dentists, we applaud efforts by WHO and Member States to minimize AMR and increase patient safety and immunization. We are however...

  • FDI white paper_The essential role of the dental team in reducing antibiotic resistance
    FDI white paper: The essential role of the dental team in reducing antibiotic resistance
    White paper

    This white paper presents a framework for dental teams seeking to tackle the problem of antibiotic resistance. Antibiotics are lifesaving drugs—when you need them, you need them to work. Antibiotic resistance is a global problem and growing rapidly due to widespread misuse of antibiotics, putting patients at risk for ‘superbugs’ that are difficult (and sometimes impossible) to treat with antibiotics. 

  • Resource
    WHA72 - Follow-up to the high-level meeting on antimicrobial resistance
    Statement

    Dentists should not be overlooked in the fight against antimicrobial resistance (AMR). As dentists prescribe around 10% of all antibiotics commonly used, they are key stakeholders in combating AMR. We therefore urge countries to reach out to their National Dental Associations (NDAs) when developing and implementing national action plans (NAPs) to counter antibiotic resistance.

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Future learn website

MOOC : Tackling Antibiotic Resistance

What should dental team do?

Join this free course and discover the danger posed by antibiotic resistance, and how dental teams can meet the challenge to protect patients

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A Library of Resources

Library of Resources

Antibiotic Stewardship for Dental Teams

Variety of national and international resources that can be adopted or adapted to support national Antibiotic Stewardship Programs. The library features a discussion forum where NDAs, dental teams and others can discuss their work. Create a free account and upload any relevant resources available in your country or draw inspiration from the resources available.

Related news
  • WHO
    06/24/2021
    FDI’s recap of the 74th World Health Assembly: Oral health, heath workforce and more
  • WHA OH Resolution
    05/28/2021
    WHO World Health Assembly approves 'historic' resolution on oral health
  • FDI_antibiotic resistance
    11/13/2020
    Study shows dramatic rise in antibiotics prescribed to dental patients in England during COVID-19 lockdown earlier this year

The Antibiotic Resistance in Dentistry project is being supported by GSK