A comparison of the management of potentially malignant oral mucosal lesions by oral medicine practitioners and oral & maxillofacial surgeons in the UK

Authors


J. J. Marley, The Queen's University Belfast, School of Clinical Dentistry, Grosvenor Rd, Belfast BT12 6BP, N. Ireland

Abstract

This study describes the results of a survey undertaken to assess the management of potentially malignant oral mucosal lesions by oral medicine practitioners and compares their approach with that of oral & maxillofacial surgeons that we have previously described. Significant differences were noted between the two groups in the use of photography to document the lesions and in the use of certain special investigations, which included measurement of serum iron, serum ferritin, serum Vit B12, red cell folate and candidal isolation. The groups also varied in the perceived importance of the age of the patient and anatomical site of the lesion when deciding on the need for further biopsy. There was also significant variation in the use of certain treatment modalities, including excising non-dysplastic and severely dysplastic/carcinoma in-situ lesions and eliminating trauma when treating mild/moderately dysplastic and severely dysplastic/carcinoma in-situ lesions. Significant differences in the frequency and duration of follow-up were noted for non-dysplastic lesions. Finally, the two groups differed significantly when asked to rank the perceived importance of certain factors (the histopathology of the most recent biopsy and the anatomical site of the lesion) when deciding the need to follow-up. Possible reasons for the variation are discussed.

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