Dental Abscess Empiric Therapy 

Updated: Nov 30, 2020
Author: Jane M Gould, MD, FAAP; Chief Editor: Jeff Burgess, DDS, MSD 

Empiric Therapy Regimens

Most dental abscesses respond to surgical treatment (incision and drainage, root canal, or extraction) and elimination of the source of infection. The addition of antibiotics is not recommended for a localized dental abscess. Antibiotics are indicated if drainage is not possible or if the patient shows signs of systemic involvement or is immunocompromised. The duration of therapy should be 7 days.[1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]

Treatment recommendations

Treatment recommendations are listed below:

  • Penicillin VK 500 mg PO TID or

  • Penicillin G 2-4 million U IV/IM q4-6h or

  • Amoxicillin-clavulanate 500 mg/125 mg PO TID or 875 mg/125 mg PO BID or

  • Clindamycin 300-450 mg PO TID-QID or 600-900 mg IV q6-8h

  • Duration of therapy: 7 days