Oral cancer for the general dentist

Published on March 31, 2016   38 min

A selection of talks on Clinical Practice

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Hi. It's my pleasure to be here today. And I'm going to present the topic on oral cancer for the general dentist. My name is Alessandro Villa. I'm an Associate in Surgery in the Division of Oral Medicine and Dentistry at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Dana Farber Cancer Institute. And we are based in the Longwood Medical Area, and we are also affiliated with Harvard School of Dental Medicine.
Today we're going to talk about how to perform a good head and neck exam for the general dentist. I'm going to give you a general overview on the oral potentially malignant disorders. And also we're going to talk specifically about oral cancer, which are the signs and symptoms and how it's treated.
The visual inspection is the current standard and it consists of a thorough head and neck and intraoral examination, with the examination of the cervical lymph nodes and visual examination and palpation of the oral mucosal surfaces. However, one limitation of the head and neck exam, in particular of the exam of the oral cavity, is that it has a low sensitivity and specificity. And another problem is that cancer can arise also from visually normal surfaces.
This slide you see pictures and photos of a healthy patient. And when we perform an oral examination, we want to check the vestibular area, the lower and upper labial mucosa. You want to examine the hard palate, the floor of the mouth, carefully.