With the overall danger of using tobacco products in mind, Willamette Dental Group recently launched a new tobacco cessation program, in part because dental professionals recognize how difficult quitting can be, and are uniquely qualified to influence to the effort.
As part of the chair-side conversation, our team of dental professionals in all 50 of our offices are discussing this topic with patients who use tobacco, while encouraging them to make a change. Those that would like support with quitting smoking, smokeless tobacco, or e-cigarettes/vaping, now receive personalized, informative handouts covering; general tobacco use, tobacco use while pregnant, e-cigarettes/vaping, information on tips for successful quitting, and information on contacting each state’s Tobacco Quitline.
“We know that using tobacco products increases a patient’s risk for periodontal disease and oral cancer, among many other health problems,” says Joanna Mullins, RDH, and Vice President of Operations. “Smoking can also delay the healing process and reduce good outcomes of care for some dental treatments, so we want to offer as much support and understanding of how hard it can be to quit, and provide tools to make cessation possible,” Joanna adds.
This patient education effort connects to our mission to partner with our patients for oral disease prevention as well as ties to the Willamette Dental Group Core Values of innovation, health, compassion and integrity. Over time, we will gather data on how many patients receive cessation education, are referred to states’ Quitlines, and ultimately are able to quit smoking, to learn more about the effectiveness of this program.