Continuing its series on Dental Infection Control Awareness month, A Tale of Two Hygienists had the opportunity to speak with a dentist specializing in the tightrope walk of prescribing patients the dosage of antibiotics that works best for them while avoiding antibiotic resistance.
Erinne Kennedy is a public health dentist who works at an innovative practice in Quincy, Massachusetts. Dr. Kennedy’s focus is antibiotic stewardship—that is to say, she works toward safer and more effective prescription of antibiotics to dental patients. She is also a success series speaker for the American Dental Association.
In this episode, Dr. Kennedy defines antibiotic stewardship, describes the mindset shift that will allow us to move away from opioids whenever possible, and explains the special role hygienists play in assessing if their patients need antibiotics.
Interview starts: 15:30
– For the first time, Dr. Kennedy shares the “roundabout way” she came to be involved in antibiotic stewardship.
– What exactly is antibiotic stewardship, and how does it relate to antimicrobial stewardship?
– What hygienists can do to practice antibiotic stewardship, and which resources they should check out.
– Dr. Kennedy lays out the CDC’s five steps toward appropriate stewardship practices.
– Debunking the myth that antibiotics will cure your tooth infection.
– On changing our collective mindset toward antibiotic prescriptions.
“We REALLY need to make sure that the dosing is correct, the duration is correct, and the route of administration [is correct].”
“I firmly believe that ANYONE can practice antibiotic stewardship.”
“The hygienist is the absolute antibiotic steward.”
“When it comes to the inappropriate use of antibiotics, often the risks well outweigh the benefits.”
“We should really only be prescribing antibiotics when absolutely necessary.”
Dr. Kennedy’s email: [email protected]
ADA Antibiotic Stewardship Resources: www.ada.org/antibiotics
Massachusetts AS Toolkit: https://hub.arcgis.com/items/d719c2ecbe1149cfbc7c85fe373f2cd7
THIS EPISODE COUNTS FOR CE! – but read the disclaimer below as it might not count for your state.
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