Barriers and facilitators to guideline concordant dental antibiotic prescribing in the United States: A qualitative study of the National Dental PBRN

Swetha Ramanathan, Connie Yan, Katie J. Suda*, Charlesnika T. Evans, Tumader Khouja, Ronald C. Hershow, Susan A. Rowan, Alan E. Gross, Lisa K. Sharp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: While factors contributing to dental antibiotic overprescribing have previously been described, previous work has lacked any theoretical behavior change framework that could guide future intervention development. The purpose of this study was to use an evidence-based conceptual model to identify barriers and facilitators of appropriate antibiotic prescribing by dentists as a guide for future interventions aimed at modifying antibiotic prescribing. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with dentists from the National Dental Practice Based Research Network (PBRN) exploring patient and practice factors perceived to impact antibiotic prescribing. Audio-recorded telephone interviews were transcribed and independently coded by three researchers. Themes were organized around the COM-B model to inform prospective interventions. Results: 73 of 104 dentists (70.1%) were interviewed. Most were general dentists (86.3%), male (65.7%), and white (69.9%). Coding identified three broad targets to support appropriate dental antibiotic prescribing among dentists: (1) increasing visibility and accessibility of guidelines, (2) providing additional guidance on antibiotic prescribing in dental scenarios without clear guidelines, and (3) education and communication skills-building focused on discussing appropriate antibiotic use with patients and physicians. Conclusions: The findings from our study are consistent with other studies focusing on antibiotic prescribing behavior in dentists. Understanding facilitators and barriers to dental antibiotic prescribing is necessary to inform targeted interventions to improve appropriate antibiotic prescribing. Future interventions should focus on implementing multimodal strategies to provide the necessary support for dentists to judiciously prescribe antibiotics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-174
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Public Health Dentistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2024


  • anti-bacterial agents
  • antimicrobial stewardship
  • appropriate prescribing
  • barriers
  • dentistry
  • facilitators
  • interventions
  • qualitative

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Barriers and facilitators to guideline concordant dental antibiotic prescribing in the United States: A qualitative study of the National Dental PBRN'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this