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Keywords:

  • cessation;
  • dental;
  • dentist;
  • hygienist;
  • review;
  • tobacco

Abstract

The hazards associated with cigarette smoking and smokeless tobacco use have been well documented. In addition to its association with many cancers and coronary conditions, tobacco plays a role in the aetiology of a number of oral morbidities. Dental care practitioners are a largely untapped resource for providing advice and brief counselling to tobacco-using patients, and there are good reasons to believe that they can be effective. Data from seven randomised trials indicate there is ample evidence for the efficacy of dental office-based interventions, but adoption of these tobacco cessation activities into practice has been slow. The limited research on dissemination of tobacco interventions is promising, but there is a need to develop and evaluate new methods for encouraging adoption, implementation and maintenance of tobacco interventions into routine dental care. Several studies currently under way may help to increase the effectiveness and dissemination of office-based tobacco cessation programmes into routine dental care. If dental practitioners provided cessation assistance routinely to their patients and achieved even modest success rates, the public health impact would be enormous. Researchers and clinicians must continue to work together towards universal adoption of effective tobacco cessation interventions at each clinical encounter