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Br Dent J. 1997 Jun 14;182(11):424-9.

The use by general dental practitioners of an oral pathology diagnostic service over a 20-year period: the Birmingham Dental Hospital experience.

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  • 1Oral Pathology Unit, University of Birmingham School of Dentistry, St Chads, Queensway,

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the use of an oral pathology service by general dental practitioners over a 20-year period.

DESIGN:

Retrospective analysis of the number of cases received for histological examination in 1975, 1984 and 1994.

SETTING:

Birmingham Dental Hospital.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS:

1101, 2395 and 3366 specimens were accessed respectively for the three years studied. Number and proportion of specimens received, number and proportion that were hard or soft tissue specimens and the information on the request form were recorded. A comparison was made between the provisional clinical and histological diagnoses.

RESULTS:

Although the number of specimens accessed increased approximately 3-fold, the number of specimens accessed from general dental practitioners increased 5-fold. The variety of histological categories increased by over 50%, most being soft tissue specimens. The number of correct provisional diagnoses increased steadily but the percentage with inappropriate provisional diagnoses remained the same. Information on request forms steadily improved.

CONCLUSIONS:

The increased number of specimens received from general dental practitioners over the 20-year period reflects an increased demand for an oral pathology diagnostic service. The referral pattern most likely indicates an increased awareness by general dental practitioners of the need to biopsy lesions arising within the oral cavity.

PMID:
9217339
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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