New dental tool to fight inappropriate prescribing

A NEW resource aims to reduce inappropriate dental prescribing by sharing data from across the UK.

The prescribing dashboard is aimed at consultants in dental public health and dental networks in England and will allow them to compare local dentists’ prescribing patterns with others across the UK.The tool has been developed by the Business Services Authority in collaboration with Public Health England's Dental ESPAUR Subgroup.

Early evidence from ESPAUR suggests that informing prescribers of their prescribing patterns, and comparing them to their peers, may help reduce inappropriate antibiotic prescribing.

The dashboard includes information on regional prescribing patterns for different types of antibiotics and for fluoride. Studies have estimated that up to 10 per cent of all antibiotic prescriptions in the UK and across Western European are from dentists in primary care.

The launch has been welcomed by the British Dental Association (BDA) who have long campaigned against antimicrobial resistance in dentistry and offer a range of toolkits and other useful resources on their website. They have called on the UK Government to increase funding for emergency dental care and for training to be made available to dental students and professionals in the diagnosis of acute dental pain.

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