In the present study, the smoking status of a 10% random sample (n = 69) of Lower Austrian dentists was surveyed taking into account gender, age and employment. The aim was to compare them with the Lower Austrian general population and physicians of other disciplines.
Smoking is a relatively common addiction. Tobacco consumption causes around 6 million deaths every year and a large number of different diseases, especially in the cardiovascular system or the lungs and in addition, cancer, wound healing disorders and periodontal disease. In addition to identifying any changes in the oral and pharyngeal area, it is also the task of the dentist to motivate his patients to stop smoking and support them in this project.
Methods: All 686 dentists registered at the chamber of dentists, were entered in a list and given a random number, after which they were divided by chance, a 10% random sample of 69 dentists was selected and asked if they smoke, if they ever smoked or were never smokers.
Results: A response rate of 98.6% was achieved. 13.2% of respondents were smokers, 25.0% ex-smokers and 61.8% non-smokers. The proportion of smokers was higher in male dentists (21.1%) than in female dentists (3.3%). Among 27 female residents 20 were nonsmokers, 6 former smokers and one female refused to answer. The proportion of smokers in all dentists (13.2% with 95% CI [5.2%; 21.3%]) was below that of the Lower Austrian population (27.5%) found 2014 by Statistik Austria.
Conclusio: It can be seen as a positive sign that 86,8% of Lower Austrian dentists are a role model for their patients and credible to give advice not to smoke or to stop this behavior. A further decrease of smoking rates in dentists to levels below the academic general population should be achieved by help for students of dentistry.