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Oral Health & Preventive Dentistry

Year 2003
Volume 1 , Issue 5

Pages: 427 - 439

Session E Smoking Prevention and Cessation

Christoph A. Ramseier

Key words:
smoking, short intervention, smoking cessation, smoking prevention, behavioral change, nicotine replacement therapy, NRT

Smoking is the largest single preventable cause of mortality and morbidity in the world today. Previous and recent dental literature has provided sufficient evidence to indicate that smokers have reduced chances of undergoing successful periodontal treatment compared to non-smokers or ex-smokers. The impact of smoking on periodontal health, the progression of periodontal disease and the outcomes of periodontal therapy are discussed extensively in session B Periodontal Risk Management (PRM) of the same workshop.

If smoker patients with periodontal disease are to be treated causally, it is appropriate to conduct an additional intervention dealing with their smoking behavior. Given that physically healthy patients visit dental offices repeatedly and relatively frequently, it is quite reasonable for smoking cessation sessions to be carried out by the dental team. Dentists, dental hygienists, dental therapists (in Great Britain) and prophylaxis assistants (in Switzerland) can be educated and trained to perform so-called short interventions of 5 or 10 to 15 minutes at each consultation.

Until recently, smoking cessation was not considered as a task for dental professionals. In various countries, however, some efforts have already been undertaken to incorporate different forms of anti-smoking interventions into the daily routine of a dental practice (Christen et al, 1990; Secker-Walker et al, 1987; Stevens et al, 1995; Sandhu, 2001; Guba, 1990; Gelskey, 2001; Orschel et al, 1997; Want and Robinson, 1999; Watt et al, 2000; Secker Walker et al, 1989; OKeefe et al, 1995; Smith et al,1998).

In particular, certain authors have addressed the dental hygienists role in smoking prevention and cessation (Secker-Walker et al, 1988; OShea et al; 1987; Bronson et al, 1989; Ohman and Kellerman, 1997). However, no textbook or journal paper has been found that could provide the educators of dental hygienists with appropriate teaching material. Consequently, this paper was written in order to present a transparent and teachable method for smoking prevention and cessation in dental offices; one that can be incorporated into the teaching curriculum for both dental hygienists and dentists.


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