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Tackling Antibiotic Resistance: What Should Dentists Do?

Discover the danger posed by antibiotic resistance, and how dental teams can meet the challenge to protect patients.

2,893 enrolled on this course

a dentist using instruments to give a woman dental treatment
  • Duration

    3 weeks
  • Weekly study

    1 hour

Explore how dentists can tackle the threat of global antibiotic resistance

Antibiotics are lifesaving drugs – when you need them, you need them to work. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) poses a significant threat to health and wealth globally. Dental teams can do their bit by optimising the use of antibiotics.

On this course, you’ll identify ways in which those involved in dental practice can do their bit to tackle antibiotic resistance (ABR).

You’ll explore the worldwide issue of antibiotic resistance, discovering the impact of resistant infections on dentistry, and how collaboration within a dental team can be key to tackling AMR.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 4 seconds Antibiotic resistance is such an important and evolving global health problem. It will affect us all both professionally and personally for generations to come. Antibiotics are essential to modern medicine and can be lifesaving drugs. When we really need them, we really need them to work. We are all at risk from antibiotic resistance, including you, your friends, and your family. Age 25, I had dreams and plans ahead, then I was involved in a car crash. Correcting the physical appearance of my distorted face was frustrated by a drug-resistant infection that I picked up. MRSA ate away so much of my soft tissue. All those years ago, I was oblivious to the risks of antibiotic resistance. But today, I champion students globally.

Skip to 0 minutes and 52 seconds Patterns of antibiotic resistance vary widely between places and over time. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Together, we can find local solutions to the global problem of antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistance is one of the reasons everyone has a role to ensure judicious use of antibiotics. When sharing decisions about whether to prescribe an antibiotic, the factors to consider may be very different to the priorities where I am, In Tanzania. Minimising resistance and achieving the best possible use of antibiotics is the joint responsibility of everyone working in the healthcare sector. By helping people preventing dental infections, the dental team has an important role to play.

Skip to 1 minute and 49 seconds Tackling antibiotic resistance - the dental professor’s role is for any member of the dental profession and beyond who want to make a local difference to this global problem. Whether you are just starting out in dental antibiotic stewardship or are more experienced, we hope that it offers something for everyone.

What topics will you cover?

  • Awareness about why and how antibiotic-resistant infections are your problem
  • Motivating change by sharing examples of antibiotic stewardship, infection prevention and control, and awareness-raising from around the world
  • Creating a framework to help you devise ways you and your team can help tackle antibiotic resistance in your own context

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Describe the global problem of antibiotic resistance (ABR)
  • Summarise the impact of resistant infections on dentistry and of dentistry on ABR more generally
  • Reflect on why ABR is a problem which affects everyone (including you, your friends and family)
  • Explore the risks of both infections and antibiotics to patients
  • Identify what you will do to help tackle ABR
  • Explain the importance of local solutions to the global problem and understand that it is an issue for the whole dental team and beyond

Who is the course for?

This course is for members of the dental team (clinical and non-clinical) and other healthcare professionals who deal with patients presenting with toothache/abscess.

Who will you learn with?

Wendy Thompson is an NIHR Clinical Lecturer in Primary Dental Care at the University of Manchester. Her research is about the use of antibiotics in dentistry, with a focus on toothache and abscesses.

Who developed the course?


Founded in 1971, the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy is committed to addressing the growing threat of drug resistant infections around the world.

FDI World Dental Federation

FDI World Dental Federation serves as the principal representative body for more than one million dentists worldwide, developing health policy and continuing education programmes, speaking as a unified voice for dentistry in international advocacy and supporting member associations in global oral health promotion activities.

Endorsers and supporters

funded by

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Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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