AIM. The study was focused on involvement of dental professionals in the diagnosis and treatment of periodontitis. We determined the spectrum of prescribed systemic drugs to analyse the suitability of systemic antibiotics used for treatment of periodontitis. METHODS.Our study was carried out in Tartu County in 2001–2006. The initial data included the prescriptions issued by doctors of Tartu County from 2001 to 2006 for the disease code “K05.3”. The data was drawn from the database of the Estonian Health Insurance Fund. The initial data also contained information about samples from the periodontal pockets. This information was requested from the Department of Microbiology, United Laboratories, Tartu University Hospital. The analysis involved: 1) counting of the number of prescriptions issued by doctors of Tartu County from 2001 to 2006, and grouping by doctors and years; 2) counting of the number of the most common antibiotics prescribed by doctors of Tartu County from 2001 to 2006, grouping by years; 3) comparing of the number of prescriptions with the number of samples from the periodontal pockets.
RESULTS. The study shows that the number of dental professionals involved in the diagnosing and treating of periodontitis has increased approximately two times. The prescribing of antibiotics was the following: broad-spectrum penicillin 40.7%, metronidazole 19.5%, linkosamides 24.8%, and β-lactam/β-lactamase inhibitor combinations 10.3%. The usage of other antibiotics was quite rare (4.7%). The prescribing of systemic antibiotics in Tartu County was in positive correlation (p = 0.02, r = 0.88) with the performed microbiological analyses. According to literature data, most prescribed drugs were effective against the anaerobic microflora.
CONCLUSION. In our opinion, the prevalence of periodontal diseases among the Estonian adult population is underestimated. Also there is yet unused capacity for development of systematic approach in the treatment and prevention strategies of periodontal diseases.