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Why should dentists be concerned about the antimicrobial resistance crisis and what can be done about it?




Dr. Susan Sutherland, Dentist in Chief at Sunnybrook Hospital, Toronto, spoke with Dr, John O’Keefe about antimicrobial resistance crisis and the trend in antibiotic prescription by dentists. 

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  • We are entering the post-antibiotic era “in which common infections and minor injuries can kill.” Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO.
  • Although there is a large number of antibiotics, a large proportion of these antibiotics has become ineffective as organisms have become resistant to them in the last 10 to 15 years.
  • On the other hand, there are very few new antibiotics being developed.
  • In Canada, overall, there are 2000 deaths related to resistant organisms every year, greater than the number of deaths from head and neck cancer.
  • There needs to be an awareness that there is a crisis and that we are part of it. Dental organizations can help get the message out.
  • As education is important our Canadian faculties of dentistry need to include correct guidance in using antibiotics.
  • Individual dentists need to weigh the risks and benefits of prescribing antibiotics.
  • The Canadian Association of Hospital Dentists is seeking more feedback on antimicrobial stewardship.



  1. Dr Jim Hyland May 11, 2016

    Use antibiotic rinses vs pills for mild to moderate perio, breath odour, DECAY and to break the oral systemic link. Bacteria cause these infections that have a huge impact on the patient in many ways. If antibiotics are indicated then a rinse and spit delivers 3-4,000 X the concentration in the saliva. At that low dose but high concentration ( actually half the oral pill dose) you wipe out the targeted biofilms and leave healthy biofilms intact and there are no systemic effects at all. It is safe and more effective. I don’t understand why organized dentistry isn’t investigating this research. If you deliver the correct antibiotic in concentration where the infection is for long enough it goes away just like a bladder and chest infection. All the conditions above are bacterial in origin. What I am saying and have done for 8 years is control periodontal disease, decay, breath odour and the oral systemic link with antibiotic rinses for 90% of patients in four weeks. Think about what I just said. Sounds like the md in 1982 who said he could control stomach ulcers with antibiotics. The world laughed. It became the standard of practice 15 ys later and he got the Nobel Peace Prize. Periodontal disease and decay can be easily controlled, if you motivate and teach patients effective home-care techniques (brush your teeth, floss and have your teeth cleaned) and add an antibiotic to kill these pathogens. Please contact me for more information. Dr Jin Hyland 416 930 0310

  2. Nemo Jemo May 13, 2016

    I think they’re referring more to the premedication guidelines.


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