Clinical competency of dental health professionals and students in diagnosing oral mucosal lesions

Majdy Idrees, Rodwan Halimi, Shashank Gadiraju, Agnieszka M. Frydrych, Omar Kujan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objective: Proper identification of oral potentially malignant disorders (OPMDs) provides an opportunity for oral cancer prevention. This study aims to assess the competency of dental health professionals in identifying OPMDs and, in turn, reducing the incidence of oral malignancy by early detection. Methods: A 26-case online questionnaire of oral mucosal lesions was distributed to cohorts of 363 dental health professionals and dental students in Australia. The participants were asked to provide their provisional diagnosis for each case based on the available information. Results: The overall accuracy in identifying oral mucosal lesions was 65.9%. There were no significant differences in the overall diagnostic accuracies between dental specialists, general dental practitioners and final-year dental students (p > 0.05). The lowest diagnostic accuracies were associated with normal mucosal variations and OPMDs. The predoctoral dental curriculum showed statistically significant values in terms of improving skills in diagnosing oral mucosal lesions. Conclusions: Lack of adequate knowledge in identifying OPMDs was evident among the participants, highlighting a non-promising figure in reducing the incidence of oral cancers in Australia. Comprehensive modifications of the current continuing professional development system are required to ensure adequate knowledge among dental health providers in Australia.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOral Diseases
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Sept 2023


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