Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Julianne Ossege

Clinical Mentor

Dr. Angela Grubbs

Committee Member

Dr. Julianne Ewen


Background: Tobacco use can lead to numerous chronic health conditions. Healthcare professionals in the dental field are in a unique position to broach this issue with patients. Research shows that dental students do not feel equipped to provide tobacco cessation care, citing lack of education on the subject among their top reasons for this.

Purpose: The purpose of this project was to evaluate changes in dental students’ knowledge and confidence related to treating tobacco use after participation in an educational intervention about the 5A’s, behavioral counseling, and first-line prescription medications.

Methods: This quality improvement initiative utilized a quasi-experimental survey design and took place at the UK College of Dentistry Diagnosis, Wellness and Prevention Clinic in fall of 2023. The sample included 30 dental students in their third or fourth years of study. Students ranked their knowledge and confidence in providing tobacco cessation care to patients before, after, and at 90-days following an in-person educational intervention. Results were analyzed using SPSS to determine if changes in knowledge and confidence before and after intervention were statistically significant.

Results: The sample size was 30 dental students. Knowledge, confidence, and application to practice scores had a potential range from 5-15 with higher scores indicating more agreement. Scores in each domain increased from 10.5, 9.1, and 7.7 (n=29) pre-education to 13.5, 13, and 13.2 (n=30) post-education, respectively (p<.001).

Conclusions: The educational intervention was effective in improving dental students’ knowledge and confidence in treating tobacco use. This is vital in ensuring that patients who use tobacco receive evidence-based care in the dental setting with the potential to improve population health on a wider scale.