Aim. This survey was conducted to determine the type and frequency of antibiotics (AB) use for the prevention of infections in dental third molar (M3) extraction and implantation procedures (DIP) among UK dentists and the opinions underpinning their practice.

Methods and design. Systematic reviews of the evidence were undertaken alongside this survey of practicing dentists in the United Kingdom to identify the opinions and practices of those undertaking the procedures.

With ethical approval, a survey was designed for online delivery and was sent to every dental practitioner in the UK with a publicly available email address or social media contact. The opening page provided the project information sheet and proceeding to complete and submit the questionnaire was considered consent to participate. The online survey was circulated to 900 identified addresses and a total of 145 responses were received. Responses were collated in Microsoft® Excel™ and analyzed using IBM® SPSS™ plus thematic analysis of free text responses.

Results. There were 42% of participants (n=61) who discouraged AB prophylactic use in M3 extractions in people with no systemic conditions and who also preferred postoperative AB use when required. Where, 57.9% of respondents (n=84) supported the short-term use of ABs (5-7 days) for M3 extraction and 53% (n=77) in DIP placement in patients with no relevant medical history. As an ad hoc finding, dentists reported on the negative impact of heavy smoking and oral parafunctional behavior on DIP success.

Conclusion. The use of antibiotics and broad spectrum antibiotics remains higher than current guidelines would recommend. Further research is required to clarify the specific risks arising from underlying medical conditions to further clarify where prophylaxis is required.


third molar extraction, wisdom teeth extraction, dental extractions, dental implant placements