The Impact of Educational Intervention on Junior Dentists’ Capacity to Detect Oral Mucosal Lesions and Suspect Malignant Potential

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of oral and Craniofacial Health sciences, College of Dental Medicine, University of Sharjah, UAE.

2 Oral Diagnostic and Surgical Sciences, UWA Dental School, The University of Western Australia, Nedlands, WA, Australia.


Objectives: This study aimed to assess the impact of Continuing Education (CE) activity on junior dentists’ competency to identify oral mucosal abnormalities those suggestive of oral cancer or potentially malignant disorders. Materials and Methods: This multiphase study administered a pre-validated quiz to dental interns and junior dentists. The quiz was designed to assess the respondent’s competency to recognize different oral lesions and stratify their potential for malignancy. Invited candidates attempted the quiz and then attended an informative half-day workshop focused on identifying oral mucosal changes, diagnosing various oral lesions, and recognizing the risk factors and features that suggest the malignant potential of oral lesions. The post-intervention survey was sent to the workshop attendees by 7 months. Results: 67 out of 110 invitees attended the workshop, with an overall response rate of 60.1%. In the initial quiz, the overall accuracy of diagnosis was 55.1±9.04%. The participants correctly identified most normal variations (80.60±5.05), but less than half of the benign lesions (40.96±8.30) and potentially malignant lesions (43.62±6.02). The malignant lesions were correctly diagnosed by 55.22±3.98% of the participants. The CE intervention has improved the overall diagnostic accuracy (74.81±5.84% (p,0.015); benign to 70.18±6.68% (p,0.02), the potentially malignant lesions to 62.99±4.63% (p,0.01). Conclusions: This study highlights the importance of CE activity in improving the role of dentists in the detection of oral cancer. CE activity has remarkably enhanced the junior dentists’ ability to accurately diagnose various oral lesions and effectively stratify their malignant potential. 


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