[en] AIM: To assess the types and frequency of antibiotic prescriptions by Belgian dentists, the indications for antibiotic prescription, and dentists' knowledge about recommended practice in antibiotic use. METHODOLOGY: In this cross-sectional survey, dental practitioners were asked to record information about all antibiotics prescribed to their patients during a 2-week period. The dental practitioners were also asked to complete a self-administered questionnaire regarding demographic data, prescribing practices, and knowledge about antibiotic use. A random sample of 268 Belgian dentists participated in the survey. RESULTS: During the 2-week period, 24 421 patient encounters were recorded; 1033 patients were prescribed an antibiotic (4.2%). The median number of prescriptions per dentist for the 2 weeks was 3. Broad spectrum antibiotics were most commonly prescribed: 82% of all prescriptions were for amoxycillin, amoxycillin-clavulanic acid and clindamycin. Antibiotics were often prescribed in the absence of fever (92.2%) and without any local treatment (54.2%). The most frequent diagnosis for which antibiotics were prescribed was periapical abscess (51.9%). Antibiotics were prescribed to 63.3% of patients with periapical abscess and 4.3% of patients with pulpitis. Patterns of prescriptions were confirmed by the data from the self-reported practice. CONCLUSIONS: Discrepancies between observed and recommended practice support the need for educational initiatives to promote rational use of antibiotics in dentistry in Belgium.