Vaccination Policy Adopted to Prevent Oral Cancers
As the number of cases of human papillomavirus (HPV)-related cancers continues to rise, the American Dental Association (ADA) has identified how oral health professionals can help educate patients about using the HPV vaccine to prevent oropharyngeal cancers. The ADA’s new policy, which urges dentists to support use of the HPV vaccine, was adopted shorty after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved expanded use in October of Gardasil 9 to include men and women ages 27 to 45.
Dental teams are in a unique position to initiate conversations about the HPV vaccine. Unlike primary care physicians, who will focus on the vaccine’s prevention of cervical cancer and cancers related to sexual activity, dentists can focus on oral health, as many patients are unaware of the association between HPV and oral cancer. According to the ADA, the best predictor of whether a young person or adolescent receives the vaccine is a recommendation from a health care provider
From Decisions in Dentistry. December 2018;4(12):8.