ADA Urges Dentists to Support HPV Vaccine Use

Dentistry Today


With the number of cases of cancers associated with the human papillomavirus (HPV) on the rise, the ADA has adopted a policy that urges dentists to support the use and administration of the HPV vaccine. 

The American Cancer Society expects more than 50,000 new cases or oral and oropharyngeal cancers in 2018, with 70% to 80% of them attributable to HPV. The ADA says the HPV vaccine could help prevent the vast majority or the oropharyngeal cases, but compared to other vaccines in the United States, it is underutilized.

According to the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs, the single best predictor of whether a young person or adolescent receives the vaccine is a recommendation from a trusted healthcare professional. 

“There is incontrovertible evidence that this virus is responsible for the sharp uptick in oropharyngeal cancers, especially in younger patients and young adults,” said Paul Eleazer, DDS, immediate past chair of the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs. “I’m pleased the ADA is taking action to combat this crisis.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that boys and girls receive the HPV vaccine during adolescence. Also, the Food and Drug Administration has approved the vaccine for people between the ages of 27 and 45 who did not receive it when they were adolescents.

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