Smoking cessation and the role of the dental practitioner

Abstract

As dentists we are uniquely positioned to influence the rate of tobacco smoking and could contribute to a decrease in the associated mortality and morbidity. The detrimental effects of smoking on oral health are well established; thus, a structured approach to initiate smoking cessation, help to manage the initial phase of withdrawal symptoms, and provide long-term support is an important role for our profession. It has been shown that smoking cessation advice for even a few minutes increases long-term smoking abstinence rates by 5%, which can be increased by 50-70% with the use of adjunctive pharmacotherapy, e.g., nicotine replacement therapy, for withdrawal symptoms. This article aims to give a brief overview of smoking in relation to oral health, review the management of tobacco smoking dependence, and discuss how we as dentists can help our patients to quit smoking.

Journal of the Irish Dental Association 2015; 61 (2): 90-92

Prof Leo Stassen
Leo F.A. Stassen
FRCS (I), FDSRCS, MA, FTCD, FFSEM, FFDRCSI, FICD
St James’s Hospital, Dublin 8

Oscar Hammarfjord
Oscar Hammarfjord
MScDS PhD
St James’s Hospital, Dublin 8

Corresponding author: Leo F.A. Stassen
National Maxillofacial Unit, St James’s Hospital, James’s Street, Dublin 8
T: +353 1 410 3860
E: stassen@tcd.ie