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Trends and racial/ethnic disparities in antibiotic prescribing practices of dentists in the United States. J Public Health Dent 2018 Mar;78(2):109-117 PMID: 28857224 PMCID: PMC5832582

Pubmed ID



OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to examine trends and racial/ethnic disparities in antibiotic prescribing practices of dentists in the United States.

METHODS: The US Medical Expenditure Panel Survey data for 1996-2013 was analyzed. Information on patient sociodemographic characteristics, dental visits, receipt of dental procedures, and type of antibiotics prescribed following visits was obtained. Descriptive statistics were calculated separately for each year. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to identify associations during the period with and without adjustment for dental procedures and sociodemographic characteristics. Survey weights were incorporated to handle the sampling design.

RESULTS: Nationally, the number of antibiotic prescribed at dental visits was estimated to be higher by 842,749 (0.4 percent) at year 2013 compared to the prescription level at 2003 were the population sociodemographic distribution kept at 2013 level. On average, the odds of prescribing antibiotics following dental care increased with each decade of study (OR: 1.10; 95% CI: [1.04, 1.17]) after adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics and receipt of dental procedures. Compared to Whites, Blacks had 21 percent (95% CI: 11%, 31%) higher odds of receiving a prescription for antibiotics from a dentist after adjusting for dental procedure and other sociodemographic characteristics.

CONCLUSIONS: The prescription of antibiotics following dental visits increased over time after adjustment for sociodemographic characteristics and dental procedure. The probability of being prescribed antibiotics by dentists was higher for Blacks compared to Whites.

Author List

Okunseri C, Zheng C, Steinmetz CN, Okunseri E, Szabo A


Christopher Okunseri DDS,MS Associate Professor and Director in the Clinical Services department at Marquette University
Aniko Szabo PhD Associate Professor in the Institute for Health and Equity department at Medical College of Wisconsin

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