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VOLUME 17 , ISSUE 3 ( March, 2016 ) > List of Articles


Antibiotic Prescription Knowledge of Dentists in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: An Online, Country-wide Survey

Esam Halboub, Abdulaziz Alzaili, Mir Faeq Ali Quadri, Mohammed Al-Haroni, Mohammad Ibrahim Al-Obaida, Nezar Noor Al-hebshi

Citation Information : Halboub E, Alzaili A, Quadri MF, Al-Haroni M, Al-Obaida MI, Al-hebshi NN. Antibiotic Prescription Knowledge of Dentists in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: An Online, Country-wide Survey. J Contemp Dent Pract 2016; 17 (3):198-204.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10024-1827

Published Online: 01-07-2016

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2016; The Author(s).



Dentists are probably contributing to the development of bacterial resistance to certain antibiotics. Campaigns to promote prudent use of antibiotics in dentistry are, thus, needed but require proper identification of dentists’ knowledge gaps. The objective here was to comprehensively evaluate antibiotic prescription knowledge of dentists in Saudi Arabia.

Material and methods

A link to an online, previously validated questionnaire was emailed to 5199 dentists registered with the Saudi Dental Society. The questionnaire comprised 42 scorable items measuring antibiotics prescription knowledge in five different domains in addition to nonscorable questions regarding first-choice antibiotics and previous attendance of a course/workshop about antibiotic prescription. Each correct answer was given one mark. Mean scores were calculated as percentages and categorized as good (> 80%), intermediate (60–80%), or poor (< 60%).


The response rate was 9.4%; however, only 373 (7.2%) fully completed the questionnaire. Around half of the participants (52%) reported prescribing amoxicillin/clavulanate as the firstchoice antibiotic; 62% reported attending a course/workshop in the last 5 years. The average knowledge score was 69%, being highest for nonclinical indications (79%) and lowest for prophylactic use (56%). The worst per-item scores were noted for rheumatic heart disease (19%), trismus (28%), surgical extraction (30%), apicectomy (31%), and periodontal abscess (33%). Female dentists, dentists in governmental sector, and those with higher qualifications had significantly better knowledge.


The level of knowledge was hardly intermediate and several deficits were identified, indicating an urgent need for educational campaigns and provision of guidelines promoting rational use of antibiotics by dentists.

Clinical Significance

Irrational use of antibiotics by dentists can contribute to the problem of antibacterial resistance.

How to cite this article

Halboub E, Alzaili A, Quadri MFA, Al-Haroni M, Al-Obaida MI, Al-hebshi NN. Antibiotic Prescription Knowledge of Dentists in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: An Online, Country-wide Survey. J Contemp Dent Pract 2016;17(3): 198-204.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest to declare.

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