Antibiotic Use in 2016 by Members of the American Association of Endodontists: Report of a National Survey

Mark Germack, Christine M. Sedgley, Wael Sabbah, Brian Whitten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Introduction This study surveyed the antibiotic prescribing practices of endodontists, and data were compared with previous surveys conducted in 1994 and 1999. Methods A 17-question survey was sent via to 3000 active members of the American Association of Endodontists for responses about antibiotic prescribing practices and demographics. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, chi-square tests, and linear regression analyses. Results Six hundred eighty-six participants (22.86%) completed the survey. The most frequently prescribed antibiotics were amoxicillin (60.71%) followed by penicillin V (30.43%) and clindamycin for patients with allergies (95.4%). Respondents reported prescribing antibiotics for irreversible pulpitis with mild symptoms (1.75%), irreversible pulpitis with moderate symptoms (6.41%), necrotic pulp with symptomatic apical periodontitis (43.59%), chronic apical abscess without (10.50%) or with symptoms (29.74%), acute apical abscess (95.92%), avulsion (70.26%), endodontic surgery (41.69%), retreatment (silver point [23.76%] or gutta-percha [15.60%]), postoperative pain after instrumentation or obturation (12.39%), and perforation repair (5.98%). The type of practice (solo/group) and geographic region (Southeast) were significant predictors of increased antibiotic prescribing; 36.89% of respondents reported prescribing antibiotics that are not necessary, most commonly because of patient expectations. Conclusions Since 1999, there has been a significant shift from prescribing penicillin V to amoxicillin as endodontists' first choice of antibiotic and a significant increase in the use of clindamycin for penicillin-allergic patients. Antibiotics continue to be prescribed in clinical situations for which they are typically not indicated, most commonly because of patient expectations. Regional differences in antibiotic prescribing practices by endodontists exist in the United States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1615-1622
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of endodontics
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2017


  • Amoxicillin
  • antibiotics
  • clindamycin
  • endodontic therapy
  • endodontists
  • penicillin
  • root canal
  • survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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