Swedish dentists ‘too eager’ with antibiotics

Swedish dentists 'too eager' with antibiotics
Dentists in Stockholm and the south are more than twice as likely to dole out antibiotics than their colleagues up north, prompting fears they are contributing to the rise in antibiotics-resistant bacteria.

“You traditionally prescribe a higher rate of antibiotics to patients in these areas, that goes for the entire healthcare sector in general,” chairwoman of the Swedish Dental Association (SDA) Gunilla Klingberg told The Local.

The National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) gathered information on how many Swedish patients were prescribed antibiotics by their dentists between July 2011 and July 2012. In the southern Skåne region, 35 out of 1,000 patients were given antibiotics. The number was similar in Stockholm.

The lowest prescription rate identified in the survey was at 15 per 1,000.

The health and welfare board has now issued new guidelines demanding that Swedish dentists be more restrictive in handing out antibiotics.

Klingberg told The Local that dentists who graduated a long time ago may be less educated about the threat that over-subscription to antibiotics poses to a population.

“You leave dental school with the information that is up to date at the time, and it wasn’t long ago that we learnt about the drug-resistant bacteria,” she said.

She said the new survey should definitely result in a decline in writing prescriptions for antibiotics.

“All of our members have received information about the new regulations,” she said.

Sanna Håkansson

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