The aim of this study was to evaluate the usefulness of antibiotics in preventing post-operative infection in third molar surgeries.
The study was retrospective with information obtained from patient records. The operations carried out by two surgeons in the course of two years were studied. In 2002, Surgeon A routinely prescribed Oral Metronidazole 400 mg tds post- operatively for five days (Group A02) whereas Surgeon B prescribed Oral Metronidazole 800 mg pre-operatively and 2 doses of 400 mg post-operatively (Group B02). In 2003, antibiotics were not routinely prescribed by either surgeon (Group A03 and B03). The proportion of post-operative infections seen in Groups A02 and A03 and that in Groups B02 and B03 were compared.
The number of infections in Group A02 was one out of 35 and in Group A03, two out of 43. Out of 36 patients in Group B02, there were no infections and in Group B03, it was three out of 43. However, using Fisher’s exact test, there was no statistically significant difference between the infections seen in Groups A02 and A03 (p=1.000) and Groups B02 and B03 (p=0.109) respectively.
In conclusion, no significant benefit could be demonstrated by administering perioperative oral antibiotics to prevent post-operative infection in third molar surgery.