The use of tobacco products is an important concern for the dental profession. Studies have shown that oral health care professionals can be very effective in helping their patients stop using tobacco, so a resolution at the 2010 House of Delegates meeting called for the MDA to provide information and resources to its members about tobacco cessation programs available.
When dental professionals assist their patients with tobacco use cessation, they eliminate an important causative/contributing factor for a number of oral conditions, including cancer. Smoking is also a major risk factor for periodontal diseases. By assisting their patients with tobacco use cessation, dental professionals can improve the outcome of dental treatment and at the same time add years and quality to their patients' lives.
A survey of MDA members conducted in 2011 helped determine the extent to which dental offices currently address the topic of tobacco use with patients and what resources would be useful in future tobacco cessation efforts. The majority of offices indicated a desire to have resources more readily available to use with patients. The following resources and protocols for tobacco cessation intervention are, therefore, recommended for use in dental offices.