Knowledge and awareness about HPV-related oral cancer among dentists and dental students: A systematic review

Document Type : Review Article(s)


1 Dental Research Center, Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Gorgan, Iran

2 Student Research Committee, Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Gorgan, Iran

3 OMFS Department, Augusta University, GA, USA

4 Craniofacial Reconstruction and Trauma Queen Marry, University of London, London, Great Britain

5 School of Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

6 Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Gorgan, Iran


Background: Oral cancer is one of the most prevailing neoplasms globally, and human papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the risk factors for this condition. Knowledge and awareness about HPV-related oral cancer can lead to a better diagnosis and prognosis of this disease. This systematic review aimed to evaluate knowledge and awareness about HPV-related oral cancer among dentists and dental students.
Methods: We searched Web of Science, Scopus, PubMed, and ProQuest databases with Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) and non-MeSH keywords to find related articles. Our eligibility criteria were: 1) cross-sectional studies including knowledge and awareness about HPV-related oral cancers, 2) publication date up to August 18, 2021, 3) studies containing dentists or dental students as the main participants, or as part of the participants. The Joanne Briggs Institute (JBI) checklist was used for quality assessment.
Results: A total of 10 studies were included in this systematic review. Five studies have shown that over 80 percent of dental students know HPV can cause oropharyngeal cancer (OPC). More than three-quarters of dentists reported HPV as a cause of oral cancer. Less than half of patients in two studies mentioned biopsy for adequate diagnosis.
Conclusion: HPV-related oral cancer knowledge and awareness need to be improved through focusing on academic and public education. For dental students, it is necessary to identify HPV as a risk factor for oral cancer. Moreover, the significance of routine checkups should not be ignored.


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