Tobacco control activities and dentistry.

smokerrsDental practitioners are in a unique position to educate patients about the negative impact of tobacco on oral health.

Simple brief clinical intervention can help in the patient quitting tobacco.

1997 USA conducted a survey by mailing out questionnaires’ to 4000 dentists and dental health professionals.

The following results emerged.

  • Specific quitting tactics were discussed by 49% of the practitioners with smokers and 48% clinician smoke to smokeless users.
  • When it came to quitting 26$ clinicians spoke to smokers and 35% to smokeless tobacco users.
  • Self help and educatory materials were handed by 32% clinicians to smokers and 35% to smokeless tobacco users.
  • Nicotine gums were prescribed by 1 practitioner to smokers, and 3 practitioners to smokeless tobacco users.
  • Nicotine patches were prescribed by 16 to smokers and 9 to smokeless tobacco user.
  • Referring to cessation clinics  or programmes was done by 14% to smokers and 11% to non smokeless tobacco users.

The barriers cited were

  • Lack of insurance reimbursement
  • Time investment and revenue was not profitable
  • Level of confidence to guide the patient
  • Time constrain of a normal practise.

Essentially tobacco o control does not seem a routine part of practise of many hygienists despite the pathologic effect of tobacco abuse d being noted in the oral cavity.


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