Data sources: Medline, PsychInfo, Cinahl, ERIC and the Cochrane Library were searched to identify relevant studies.
Study selection: Study quality was assessed using a scheme combining the Type of Evidence Schema, the Health Gains Notation framework and the Cochrane Health Promotion and Public Health Field quality assessment screening questions for qualitative studies, quantitative studies and systematic reviews.
Data extraction and synthesis: A qualitative synthesis was presented.
Results: Thirty-two studies were identified, nine of clinical prevention and health education, three of counselling, nine of models-based interventions and 11 of motivational interviewing. Motivational interviewing interventions were found to be the most effective method for altering health behaviours in a clinical setting.
Conclusions: There is a need to develop an effective model for chairside oral health promotion that incorporates this evidence and allows oral health professionals to focus more on the underlying social determinants of oral disease during the clinical encounter. There is potential to further develop the motivational interviewing approach within the oral health field.