Free online CPD: Alcohol Identification and Brief Advice for dental teams
One in four adults drink above recommended levels, increasing their risk of alcohol-related conditions and alcohol–related death. The most significant oral health impact is the increased risk of oral cancer, the incidence of which has risen by around two-thirds across all demographics over the last 20 years. There are now over 7,500 cases of oral cancer a year in the UK, with around nine in ten linked to lifestyle and other known risk factors, including alcohol.
Evidence has shown that providing simple alcohol advice results in significant and sustained reductions in weekly drinking, and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommends that all health professionals carry out alcohol risk identification, and deliver brief advice, as a routine and integral part of practice.
The Department of Health’s Delivering Better Oral Health specifically recommends that dental professionals follow the ‘Ask, Advise, Act’ intervention model for all patients in order to establish whether they are drinking above recommended levels, to offer brief advice to those who are, and to refer or signpost high risk drinkers to their GP or local alcohol support services.