Objective: To estimate the value of tumor (T)-related parameters (singly or in association) in predicting the presence of occult metastases in oral cavity and oropharynx carcinomas. Study Design: We considered tumor size (T size), Broders' grading of histologic differentiation (G), invasive cell grading (ICG), and thickness. For every single factor, we evaluated the correlation between the parameter and occult metastases in N0 neck disease, the correlation between the parameter and metastases independently from node (N) class, and the relation between the parameter and extracapsular spread. On the basis of previous results, we gave a score to each parameter that showed higher significativity the sum of which we called global score (GS). We compared the predictivity of metastasis of the GS to that of the single parameters to obtain a more efficacious index. Methods: Sixty-one patients with carcinomas of the oral cavity and oropharynx who underwent surgery on T and N were examined. Results: Our preliminary results have highlighted a significant correlation between G, ICG, and the presence of occult metastases. No correlation between T size and metastases was highlighted. The GS obtained from G and ICG turned out to be highly significant. A strong correlation was found between the ICG score and extracapsular spread: a high risk of extracapsular spread was found in patients with an ICG score ⩾13. Conclusion: We perform elective neck dissection in T1–T2 N0 neck disease with ICG ⩾13 and GS1 ⩾9.