Expertise Regarding Dental Management of Oral Cancer Patients Receiving Radiation Therapy Among Western Australian Dentists

AM Frydrych*, LM Slack-Smith, JH Park, AC Smith
School of Dentistry, The University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia

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© Frydrych et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the School of Dentistry (512), The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, CRAWLEY Western Australia 6009; Tel: +618 9346 7670; Fax: +618 9346 7666; Email:



Dental care forms an important part of the multidisciplinary management of oral cancer patients. The aim of this study was to examine actual and self-perceived knowledge and clinical expertise regarding dental management of oral cancer patients receiving radiation therapy among Western Australian general dentists.

Materials and Methods:

An invitation to participate in a web-based questionnaire was emailed to 1095 dentists registered with the Australian Dental Association (ADA), WA branch. To assess dentists’ knowledge and expertise, actual and perceived knowledge was investigated. Information regarding type of practice, practice location, year of graduation and number of oral cancer patients treated in the preceding 12 months was also obtained.


One hundred and ninety one dentists responded to the survey. General dentists who took part in the study appeared to possess some knowledge regarding dental management of oral cancer patients treated with radiation therapy. The majority of responders however identified deficiencies in their knowledge and willingness to participate in continuing education programs.


In view of the rising incidence of oral cancer in Western Australia, efforts should be made to provide more clinically relevant training to dentists in this area.

Keywords:: Dental care, dentists, expertise, oral cancer.