Introduction: Precision medicine is focused on serving the unique needs of individuals. Oral and oropharyngeal cancer risk assessment identifies individual risk factors while providing support to reduce risk. The objective is to examine potential current and future strategies to broadly implement evidence-based oral and oropharyngeal cancer risk assessment and screening in dental practices throughout the United States.
Methods: Feasible and effective oral cancer risk assessment and risk reduction strategies, ripe for implementation in dental practice, were identified in the published literature.
Results: The Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral for Treatment (SBIRT) model is a feasible approach to assessing individual oral cancer risk and providing risk reducing interventions in the dental setting. HPV is a more recently identified risk factor that dentistry is well positioned to address. Evidence supporting the utilization of specific risk assessment tools and risk reduction strategies is summarized and future opportunities discussed.
Discussion: Current knowledge of risk factors for oral and oropharyngeal cancers support the recommendation for dental providers to routinely assess all patients for risk factors, educate them about their personal level of cancer risk, and recommend actions to reduce relevant risk factors. Individuals ages 9-26 should be asked about their HPV vaccination status, educated about HPV and oropharyngeal cancer and receive a recommendation to get the HPV vaccination.
Keywords: SBIRT; artificial intelligence in health care; clinical practice; implementation; oral cancer risk; oropharyngeal cancer risk; precision medicine; prevention; screening.