Routine practices of general dentists toward patients' smoking

Samar Z. Burgan 



Saudi Dental Journal, vol 14 (3): 131-135, 2002.



The purpose of this study was to assess routine practices of general dentists in Jordan regarding patientsí use of tobacco and perceived barriers to providing tobacco cessation counseling. A survey questionnaire was mailed to a random sample of 849 out of 1693 dentists. Of the 613 (72.2%) respondents, 71.1% were males, 71.5% were younger than 40 years, 35% were current smokers and 70.8% were in the private sector. Sixty-three percent permitted smoking in their practices. Although 57.7% inquired whether or not their patients smoked, only 22.3% recorded it. As many as 69.5% advised smokers to quit and almost half provided strategies on quitting. Only 25.4% felt reluctant to discuss the tobacco issue with their patients. Among those who educated their patients of the adverse effects of smoking; 74.9% did this with smokers, whereas 54.2% educated the non-smokers. Dentists perceived lack of interest by patients, lack of effectiveness, inadequate training and lack of time as major barriers to offering advice. It was concluded that tobacco cessation intervention was not a routine practice among general dentists in Jordan.