029 – Prescribing of antibiotics and opioids by Victorian dentists during COVID-19

  • Chief Investigator A: Dr Leanne Teoh
  • Chief Investigator B: A/Prof Matthew Hopcraft
  • Chief Investigator C: Prof Michael McCullough
  • Associate Investigator: Dr Marietta Taylor


Antibiotic resistance and the opioid crisis are two well established public health issues. A study assessing Australian dental prescribing during the period of restricted dental services during January-June 2020 showed a reduction in prescribing during the periods of lockdown, but a significant increase was seen as soon as dental restrictions eased.


To assess the factors influencing the increased prescribing of antibiotics and opioids by dentists since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.


While the trends in dental prescribing have been determined during the periods of restricted dental services, it is not known how the restrictions affected dentists practising during the periods of restricted dental services when no aerosols were permitted to be generated.


Participants will be invited to take complete an online survey using Qualtrics survey tool with the ‘anonymise’ and ‘prevent multiple responses’ features enabled to ensure individual participants cannot complete the survey more than once. The study will be sent to dentists through the eviDent Foundation and the Australian Dental Association Victorian Branch Inc and via social media.

What are the expected outcomes?

It is anticipated this project will assess whether dentists had to prescribe antibiotics and opioids more frequently or not during the periods of restricted dental services, and also the factors that influenced prescribing during the pandemic. These factors can then be used in later studies to design approaches to safely reduce dental antibiotic and opioid prescribing.