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Welcome to the course

Watch Mahesh Verma introduce this course and the global problem of antibiotic resistance.

Welcome to “Tackling antimicrobial resistance, what should dentists do?” Thank you for joining us!

In this video Professor Mahesh Verma introduces the course and the problem of antibiotic resistance.

Antibiotics are lifesaving drugs – when you need them, you need them to work. Antibiotic resistance poses a significant threat to human health and wealth.

Since Alexander Fleming’s discovery of penicillin in 1928, antibiotics have become the cornerstone of modern medicine. Effective antibiotics are prerequisites for both preventive and curative measures, protecting people from potentially fatal diseases and ensuring that complex procedures (such as surgery and chemotherapy) can be provided at low risk. Resistance is driven by the overuse of antibiotics in both people and animals (especially for food production) as well as in the environment.

Dentists are responsible for about 10% of antibiotic prescribing for humans (depending on the country), so the dental profession has a clear responsibility to engage, commit and contribute to global, national and local efforts to tackle resistance. It is a problem that affects everyone (including you, your friends and family) and needs tackling immediately.

The spread of resistant infections respects no borders, making this a complex global health problem that requires international action. As patterns of resistance differ between places and over time, there is no one-size-fits-all global solution. This MOOC offers you opportunities to find ways to get involved which fit your local context: by raising awareness about resistance, preventing infections, and optimising the use of antibiotics.

By completing the exercises as you progress through the course, you will finish up with a tailored action plan to help you and your team start tackling antibiotic resistance in a way which works for you in order to keep your family, friends and patients safe.

No boundary has been drawn on the international audience for this MOOC. It is intended to be relevant for anyone wishing to make a difference in their organisation, service, university, government, charity and beyond. Recognising the breadth of experience in dental antibiotic stewardship, differences in local contexts and the rapid pace of new developments, the aim is to provide something for everyone. From those just starting out in dental antibiotic stewardship to those with significantly more experience in this field, we hope that it offers something for everyone.

A glossary for this course can be found in the downloads section below.

Throughout the course, we will provide links to sources and further information in the see also or downloads sections below. These will provide further detail on the topics if you wish to find out more.

At the time of writing, the FDI white paper ‘The essential role of the dental team in reducing antibiotic resistance’ and the IDJ article ‘Tackling antibiotic resistance: why dentistry matters’ are not yet in the public domain. We will update this step when the papers are available.

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Unlimited access to the course: Go at your own pace with unlimited access to the course for as long as it exists on FutureLearn.

A Certificate of Achievement: To help you demonstrate your learning we’ll send you a Certificate of Achievement when you become eligible.


We hope you enjoy the course and find it useful, and look forward to seeing your comments.

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Tackling Antibiotic Resistance: What Should Dental Teams Do?

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