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Why Be Involved / Barriers
As oral health care professionals:
- We have interviewing skills
- Ability to assess patient tobacco use and motivation to
- We have educating skills
- We can relate tobacco use to medical and dental conditions
and treatment results
- We have motivating skills
- The trust and rapport we build with our patients is
essential to help change behavior
- We have counseling skills
- Listening, encouraging, and supporting skills
- The patient follow-up procedures have always been an important
part of dental practice
- A system in the office / clinic can be brief, simple and does
not need to disrupt the practice routine.
- Expanding our professional skills to include tobacco use
cessation is an excellent practice builder. This service can
strengthen the office / clinic-patient bond and lead to increased
- Helping patients to free themselves of their addiction is
extremely rewarding and can give the dental team members a deep
sense of satisfaction. Brief tobacco cessation interventions may
take only a small amount of office time, but when successful, may
greatly improve disease and treatment prognoses while adding years
and improved quality to patients' lives.
Major barriers to using tobacco cessation in practice
Some health care professionals:
- Don't believe it is their area of responsibility...But tobacco use is a significant oral health problem
- Are concerned patients will complain / or leave their
practice...But patients appreciate the help and concern if approached in a low-key, nonjudgemental, and sensitive manner.
- Think it takes too much time...But interventions can be brief, simple and do not need to disrupt the practice routine.
- Feel that they can't be reimbursed for this service...But fees can be included in initial exam or treatment services, or if more time is spent, separately charged.
- Are concerned about effectiveness of the program...But don't see efficacy of multiple interventions.
- Feel uncomfortable because of lack of training...But this is slowly beginning to change.