An American Dental Association Clinical Evaluators Panel survey

Council on Scientific Affairs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted oncovirus associated with several malignancies, including oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma. The 9-valent HPV vaccine can help protect against the high-risk HPV strains most commonly associated with HPV-related cancers. Methods: The authors used an electronic survey to assess the roles of dentists and their team members in discussing the HPV vaccine, as well as administering the vaccine in a dental setting. On December 6, 2019, the authors e-mailed a survey link to the American Dental Association Clinical Evaluators (ACE) Panel (n = 813), a sample of American Dental Association member dentists. After 1 e-mail reminder, the survey closed on December 19, 2019, and the authors conducted exploratory and descriptive data analyses using SAS Version 9.4 (SAS). Results: A total of 329 dentists responded to the survey, and 83 (25%) of them reported that they or their team members discuss the implications of the HPV vaccine with age-eligible patients or their parents or guardians. Dentists lead two-thirds (n = 218) of the discussions, and the clinical examination is the most frequent moment during the patient visit in which HPV-related topics are discussed. Some of the top reasons respondents mentioned for not discussing the vaccine in their practice were the perception that these discussions are best left to other health care professionals and not knowing how to address the topic with patients. If the scope of dental practice is expanded to include administering the vaccine, 125 (38%) of respondents would feel uncomfortable administering the vaccine. The most common potential barriers to administering the vaccine in a dental setting include obtaining reimbursement and vaccine management and preservation. Conclusions: The survey results suggest that dentists’ comfort levels and perceived roles in discussing and administering the HPV vaccine vary. Practical Implications: There is a need to further define the role of dentists and their team members in the promotion and administration of the HPV vaccine. Resources for dentists and dental team members may be helpful to support professional education and communication about the HPV vaccine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-304.e2
JournalJournal of the American Dental Association
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2020


  • Human papillomavirus
  • cancer
  • oropharyngeal neoplasms
  • vaccination
  • vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


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