Background: Reducing inappropriate antibiotic prescriptions (Rxs) is a major quality improvement initiative in the United States. Tracking antibiotic prescribing trends is 1 method of assessing improvement in antibiotic prescribing. The purpose of this study was to assess longitudinal antibiotic prescribing practices among dental specialists. Methods: This was a retrospective ecological longitudinal trend study. The authors calculated monthly systemic antibiotic Rx counts, and rates per 100,000 beneficiaries, from a pharmacy benefits manager in the United States from 2013 through 2015. The authors calculated average annual antibiotic Rx rates (AARs) for the 3-year study period. The authors used a quasi-Poisson regression model to analyze antibiotic Rx trends. The authors quantified seasonal trends, when present, via peak-to-trough ratios (PTTRs). Results: Dental specialists prescribed 2.4 million antibiotics to the cohort of 38 million insurance beneficiaries during the 3-year study period (AAR = 2,086 Rxs per 100,000 beneficiaries). Oral and maxillofacial surgeons prescribed the most antibiotics (1,172,104 Rxs; AAR = 1,018 Rxs per 100,000 beneficiaries), followed by periodontists (527,038 Rxs; AAR = 457 Rxs per 100,000 beneficiaries), and endodontists (447,362 Rxs; AAR = 388 Rxs per 100,000 beneficiaries). Longitudinal antibiotic prescribing trends were stable among all dental specialties in the regression models (P >.05). The authors observed substantial seasonal variation in antibiotic Rxs in 2 specialties: pediatric dentistry (PTTR, 1.18; 95% confidence interval, 1.13 to 1.25) and orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics (PTTR, 1.41; 95% confidence interval, 1.21 to 1.71), with the highest rates of antibiotic Rxs in the spring and winter. Conclusions: Antibiotic prescribing practices for dental specialists remained stable. The authors observed seasonal trends in 2 specialties. Practical Implications: Public health efforts are needed improve antibiotic prescribing among dental specialties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)846-853.e5
JournalJournal of the American Dental Association
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2019


  • Dental public health
  • antimicrobial resistance
  • antimicrobials
  • bacteria
  • epidemiology
  • infectious diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Longitudinal antibiotic prescribing trends among US dental specialists within a pharmacy benefits manager, 2013 through 2015'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this