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.
Smoking is a contributing factor for a number of oral conditions, including cancer, and is also a major risk factor for periodontal diseases. By assisting 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.
ENCOURAGING PATIENTS TO QUIT
When you have patients who use any form of tobacco, ask them if they have an interest in quitting, and if so, would they like some help. Have those who are interested fill out the Tobacco Use Assessment Form.
On the reverse side of the Tobacco Use Assessment Form, follow the outline so that you Ask, Advise, Assess, Assist, and Arrange for follow-up to encourage and support your patients in their attempts to quit.
A valuable program available in Minnesota is the Minnesota Tobacco Quitlines. A step-by-step Clinic Fax Referral Process will help guide you in assisting patients with enrolling. If your patients are willing to have a Quitline tobacco cessation coach call them to discuss quit strategies and help them with a quit plan, have them fill out the Minnesota Tobacco Quitlines Fax Form (forms should be ordered in advance here). You will fax the form to the Quitline and then get the results of the coaching back to you for documentation in the patient’s progress notes.
If patients are interested in other quit smoking (tobacco) support programs give them the sheet that lists these programs.
Be sure to follow-up with your tobacco using patients who are interested in quitting. Your continued encouragement and support are important.
- American Dental Association Resources
- Stafne, E.E.: The Minnesota clinic fax referral program: helping our patients become more tobacco free. Northwest Dentistry 2008; 87(4): 40-41.
- Quit Day
- MDH Tobacco Prevention and Control
- Call It Quits Program
- Helping Your Patients Quit Tobacco Handout
- American Cancer Society