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Postextraction infection and antibiotic prescribing among veterans receiving dental extractions.

Caniff KE, Young LR, Truong S, Gibson G, Jurasic MM, Poggensee L, Fitzpatrick MA, Evans CT, Suda KJ. Postextraction infection and antibiotic prescribing among veterans receiving dental extractions. Infection control and hospital epidemiology. 2021 Dec 1; 42(12):1431-1436.

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OBJECTIVE: To characterize postextraction antibiotic prescribing patterns, predictors for antibiotic prescribing and the incidence of and risk factors for postextraction oral infection. DESIGN: Retrospective analysis of a random sample of veterans who received tooth extractions from January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017. SETTING: VA dental clinics. PATIENTS: Overall, 69,610 patients met inclusion criteria, of whom 404 were randomly selected for inclusion. Adjunctive antibiotics were prescribed to 154 patients (38.1%). INTERVENTION: Patients who received or did not receive an antibiotic were compared for the occurrence of postextraction infection as documented in the electronic health record. Multivariable logistic regression was performed to identify factors associated with antibiotic receipt. RESULTS: There was no difference in the frequency of postextraction oral infection identified among patients who did and did not receive antibiotics (4.5% vs 3.2%; P = .59). Risk factors for postextraction infection could not be identified due to the low frequency of this outcome. Patients who received antibiotics were more likely to have a greater number of teeth extracted (aOR, 1.10; 95% CI, 1.03-1.18), documentation of acute infection at time of extraction (aOR, 3.02; 95% CI, 1.57-5.82), molar extraction (aOR, 1.78; 95% CI, 1.10-2.86) and extraction performed by an oral maxillofacial surgeon (aOR, 2.29; 95% CI, 1.44-3.58) or specialty dentist (aOR, 5.77; 95% CI, 2.05-16.19). CONCLUSION: Infectious complications occurred at a low incidence among veterans undergoing tooth extraction who did and did not receive postextraction antibiotics. These results suggest that antibiotics have a limited role in preventing postprocedural infection; however, future studies are necessary to more clearly define the role of antibiotics for this indication.

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