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J Dent Educ. 2005 May;69(5):521-37.

Treatment of tobacco use and dependence: the role of the dental professional.

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  • 1Department of Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences, University of California-San Francisco, 3333 California Street, Suite 495, San Francisco, CA 94143-1361, USA.


The purpose of this article is to discuss tobacco use and dependence, effective treatments, and the role of the dental professional. Tobacco dependence is discussed as a chronic condition characterized by a vulnerability to relapse that persists for perhaps years. The need for ongoing rather than just acute care is highlighted. Effective treatments for tobacco dependence exist. Brief clinical intervention makes a difference. It is recommended that every dental patient who uses tobacco be offered at least one of the effective treatments available. In so doing, dental professionals can play an important role in primary prevention of adverse health effects and can have an important public health impact by helping to counter tobacco use.

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