Decision-making on the use of antimicrobial prophylaxis for dental procedures: a survey of infectious disease consultants and review

Clin Infect Dis. 2002 Jun 15;34(12):1621-6. doi: 10.1086/340619. Epub 2002 May 23.


There is debate concerning use of antibiotic prophylaxis before invasive dental procedures for patients at risk of acquiring distant site infection (DSI). We determined the opinions and practices of infectious disease consultants (IDCs) regarding antimicrobial prophylaxis to prevent DSIs that result from invasive dental procedures by conducting a survey of the 797 members of the Infectious Diseases Society of America Emerging Infections Network (477 members [60%] responded). Ninety percent of respondents closely follow the American Heart Association guidelines for antibiotic prophylaxis for patients with valvular heart disease who undergo invasive dental procedures. In contrast, few IDCs recommend prophylaxis for patients with lupus erythematosus, poorly controlled diabetes mellitus, dialysis catheters or shunts, cardiac pacemakers, or ventriculoperitoneal shunts. Twenty-five percent to forty percent of respondents recommended prophylaxis for prosthetic vascular grafts, orthopedic implants, or chemotherapy-induced neutropenia. We conclude that IDCs differ considerably in their assessment of the need for prophylaxis for patients who have noncardiac risk factors for DSI. These differences underscore the need for definitive studies to delineate appropriate candidates for antimicrobial prophylaxis in dental practice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibiotic Prophylaxis / adverse effects*
  • Dental Prophylaxis / adverse effects*
  • Heart Valve Diseases / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Infection Control, Dental
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic