The role of phenoxymethylpenicillin, amoxicillin, metronidazole and clindamycin in the management of acute dentoalveolar abscesses--a review

Br Dent J. 2009 Apr 11;206(7):357-62. doi: 10.1038/sj.bdj.2009.257.


Antibiotics are the most widely prescribed category of drugs issued on prescription by general dental practitioners. Despite this there remains little evidence-based literature on what should be prescribed for any given clinical situation, at what dosage and for how long. Given the current climate of evidence-based research, the need to keep antibiotic prescribing to an acceptable minimum, increasing levels of resistance of micro-organisms and widespread hospital infections with 'superbugs', there is a distinct need for appropriate prescribing guidelines. Considering best practice, an extensive review of the literature and a thorough understanding of current empirical treatment regimes, an attempt has been made to recommend suitable antibiotic prescribing for the adult patient suffering from acute dentoalveolar infections based on evidence.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Amoxicillin / therapeutic use
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Clindamycin / therapeutic use
  • Drainage
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial
  • Drug Utilization / standards*
  • Evidence-Based Dentistry
  • Humans
  • Metronidazole / therapeutic use
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Penicillin V / therapeutic use
  • Periapical Abscess / drug therapy*
  • Periapical Abscess / microbiology
  • Periodontal Abscess / drug therapy*
  • Periodontal Abscess / microbiology
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Metronidazole
  • Clindamycin
  • Amoxicillin
  • Penicillin V