Screening and referral of oral mucosal pathology: A check-up of Australian dentists

Allen, K. and Farah, C. S. (2015) Screening and referral of oral mucosal pathology: A check-up of Australian dentists. Australian Dental Journal, 60 1: 52-58. doi:10.1111/adj.12261

Author Allen, K.
Farah, C. S.
Title Screening and referral of oral mucosal pathology: A check-up of Australian dentists
Journal name Australian Dental Journal   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1834-7819
Publication date 2015-03-01
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/adj.12261
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 60
Issue 1
Start page 52
End page 58
Total pages 7
Place of publication Chichester, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Language eng
Formatted abstract

Oral squamous cell carcinomas and potentially malignant oral disorders can be detected early by visually inspecting the oral soft tissues. This study aimed to determine Australian dentists’ opinions and practices regarding oral mucosal screening, referral and oral cancer prevention.


Nine hundred and ninety-nine randomly selected general dentists were mailed a questionnaire. The questionnaire queried practitioners’ opinions and perceptions of oral mucosal screening, their referral practices and their beliefs regarding detection and prevention of oral cancer.


A total of n = 640 individuals responded, yielding a response rate of 70.2%. Most Australian dentists reported to routinely perform oral mucosal screening. Lack of training, confidence, time and financial incentives were seen as barriers to performing mucosal screening to at least some degree by participants in this study. Most dentists manage referrals for oral mucosal pathology appropriately; however, only about half believe in following up with referred patients. Only half of dentists surveyed believed that they could influence a patient to quit smoking.


Australian dentists place importance on oral mucosal screening. Some changes to dental education and training could be made to further improve confidence and ability of dentists in detecting and referring oral mucosal pathology.
Keyword Dentist
mouth cancer
oral mucosal pathology
referral and consultation
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: UQ Centre for Clinical Research Publications
Official 2016 Collection
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 3 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 2 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Sun, 03 May 2015, 11:01:06 EST by System User on behalf of Scholarly Communication and Digitisation Service