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Division of Periodontology

What's inside.


DDS Curriculum

Advanced Education

Tobacco Cessation




Helpful Links
*School of Dentistry
*Academic Health Center
*University of Minnesota


Home > Tobacco Use Cessation Program > Didactic Components > Why Be Involved

Why Be Involved / Barriers

As oral health care professionals:

  • We have interviewing skills
    • Ability to assess patient tobacco use and motivation to quit
  • 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 patient referrals.
  • 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.
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