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Management of smoking patients by specialist periodontists and hygienists in the United Kingdom
: D. Dalia, R. M. Palmer
: 5
: Blackwell Synergy
: 2007
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Objective: To assess the management of patients who are current smokers in dental practice. Materials and methods: A postal questionnaire to the 243 periodontists on the UK specialist register and 239 randomly selected hygienists on the General Dental Council register. Results: Eighty per cent of both groups responded. There were significant demographic differences between the two groups of respondents: 88% of periodontists were in specialist practice and/or hospital or university departments, while 89% of hygienists were in general dental practice. Periodontists routinely asked their patients about smoking 99% of the time, hygienists 89%. More than 5 min. was spent advising a smoker patient by 35% of periodontists and 19% of hygienists. A proportion of both groups claimed to have had some recognized training in quit smoking (44% and 39%). When asked about the oral conditions of their smoking patients, 26% of periodontists stated that these patients did not have poorer oral hygiene, while 67% of hygienists thought that they did. While the majority of both groups discussed the oral effects of smoking, less than two-thirds discussed methods of giving up. Conclusion: Both periodontists and hygienists are generally aware of the problems of treating smokers, and accordingly ask and advise their patients. However, lack of time and poor patient response may inhibit active involvement in assisting patients to quit smoking.

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