Survey of Maryland Dentists' Knowledge, Opinions and Practices About Oral Cancer Prevention and Early Detection
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To reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with oral cancer, dentists must have oral cancer prevention and early detection knowledge and skills, and they must perform routine screening examinations. Maryland dentists were surveyed to assess their knowledge, opinions and screening practices relating to oral cancer prevention and early detection. Thirty-eight percent of dentists had a high level of knowledge of oral cancer risk factors, thirty-nine percent had a high level of knowledge of oral cancer diagnostic procedures, and thirty-eight percent received a high score for provision of oral cancer examinations. Dentists who strongly agreed or agreed that their oral cancer knowledge is current were more likely to receive a high score for knowledge of oral cancer diagnostic procedures and knowledge of risk factors and diagnostic procedures combined. Deficiencies exist in dentists' knowledge and practices relating to oral cancer. Actions are needed in education, policy and research to address these deficiencies.