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Evaluation of Potentially Malignant Disorders in the Oral Cavity Clinical Practice Guideline (2017)

Oral Cancer Clinical Practice GuildelineA panel of experts convened by the American Dental Association (ADA) Council on Scientific Affairs presents an evidence-based clinical practice guideline called the "Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guideline for the Evaluation of Potentially Malignant Disorders in the Oral Cavity."

The goal for this 2017 clinical practice guideline is to inform clinicians about the potential use of adjuncts as triage tools for the evaluation of lesions, including potentially malignant disorders (PMDs), in the oral cavity. Among the guideline's recommendations:

  • Clinicians should obtain an updated medical, social, and dental history and perform an intraoral and extraoral conventional visual and tactile examination in all adult patients.
  • For patients with suspicious lesions, clinicians should immediately perform a biopsy of the lesion or refer the patient to a specialist.
  • Salivary and light-based adjuncts are not recommended for evaluating lesions for malignancy.

For more insight into the guideline's six clinical recommendations, visit the links below.

Clinical Recommendations

Chairside Guide

For the Patient

Instructional Video



Oral cancer clinical practice guideline at ADA 2017

The chair of the expert panel who developed the "Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guideline for the Evaluation of Potentially Malignant Disorders in the Oral Cavity," Dr. Mark Lingen, will be presenting the guideline's recommendations during a talk titled “ADA Clinical Practice Guidelines on the Evaluation of Oral Cancer” on the ADA Science Institute Stage at the ADA 2017 national meeting. The talk takes place Friday, October 20, at 8 AM in the Georgia World Congress Center, Building B, B209.