Project overview - why would a dentist get involved in smoking cessation?
Smoking tobacco affects a large percentage of the population. In addition to the numerous affects tobacco has on general health, smoking is a major contributor to the development of both oral cancer and periodontal disease.
In the community, health professionals are seen as a respected source of health information. General practice dentists are health professionals that are ideally placed to deliver smoking cessation advice to their patients.
There are a number of persuasive arguments for implementing smoking cessation interventions in the dental setting. First, the dental practitioner is in an ideal position to identify oral conditions that are visual signs of the impact of smoking on the body, such as effects ranging from stained teeth to periodontal disease and oral cancer. Second, a large proportion of smokers want to stop. Third, there is evidence that brief advice given by a health professional will help smokers to successfully stop smoking. Fourth, oral health personnel often have an established and longstanding rapport with patients and see them on a regular basis and there are many one and two-minute occasions that can be used to provide opportunistic snippets of tobacco related preventive and cessation advice.
What does the project aim to do?
This project aims to provide general practice dentists with the knowledge, skills and confidence to provide effective smoking cessation advice to their dental patients.
Progress on the project
Phase 1 of the project has identified the barriers and facilitating factors for delivering smoking cessation advice in the private dental practice setting. The information gathered has informed the development of the training package during Phase 2. The training package was piloted and evaluated through to early 2002.
Two articles, Provision of smoking cessation advice in the dental setting and Dentists' training on smoking cessation have been published in ADA newsletters to raise awareness amongst dentists about how they can implement smoking cessation as part of their routine dental practice.
Results of the research suggest that dentists are willing to ask and advise patients with regard to smoking but are less inclined to assist patients to quit or arrange follow up regarding patients' quitting attempt. There is a disparity between what dentists think are appropriate activities for dentists and what interventions are implemented in practice.
Training is clearly needed and it will aim to shift dentists' perception and legitimise their role in smoking cessation. It will also aim to increase dentists' confidence and skills to build smoking cessation into their daily practice using current systems and ways of working, and provide strategies and resource support dentists to do this.
The training package
Since the completion of the initial training needs assessment we have worked further with dentists to develop a model (incorporating the 5As, ask, assess, advise, assist and ask again) that assists the integration of smoking cessation into routine dental practice.
The components of the training package include a one-hour seminar on:
- Background and evidence for dentists involvement in smoking cessation
- Theory about smoking cessation intervention
- Strategies for integrating dental care and the 5As
The package also includes resources developed specifically to support dentists to build smoking cessation interventions into their existing routine for providing dental care plus information for dentists and their patients on accessing Quit services and resources.
Training package: Video and training booklet for smoking cessation
Quit Victoria's training package for Oral Health Professionals consists of a video and an information booklet How you can help smokers to quit, using the 5As Framework. The video demonstrates the 5As, an international framework suitable for brief (less than 3 minutes) smoking cessation intervention or for extended support. It can be used as part of routine patient care to support your patient with quitting.
Download the dental training order form [PDF 184kb] for the training package (video and training booklet for smoking cessation) and Smoking, Your Mouth, Your Health brochures.
Fax referrals to Quitline
Quit supports your oral health team to provide smoking cessation assistance within the time constraints of a busy practice by referring patients to the Quitline.
Download the Referral Fax Sheet [168 Kb PDF] to help you and your team support your patients to quit.
Quit's Background Brief, Smoking and the Mouth, provides further information for the health professional.
Download the Background Brief Smoking and the Mouth [157 Kb PDF].
‘Development and Piloting of a Smoking Cessation Training Package for Victorian Dentists'
Quit Victoria and the Victorian Branch of the Australian Dental Association (ADAVB) have been funded by the Department of Human Services Victoria Oral Health Promotion Grants to develop and pilot a smoking cessation training package for Victorian dentists.