Management of Oral Pathologic Lesions
r:dentist irt general practice has a more thorough and continuous exposure to his or her patients’ oral cavities and perioral areas than any other health care provider. Therefore the dentist is responsible for maintaining the overall health and well being of these structures. WhetHer directly involved in the surgical management of pathol gic entities or indirectly involved through referral to another health care provider; the dentist is the individual who provides the needed continuityof care to help ensure adequate patient follow-up and dental reconstructive efforts.
The unique role of general dentists as oral health experts requires them to.
be constantly on the lookout for pathologic lesions during the everyday care of patients. General dentists must be aware of the natural history of the more ‘common maxillofacial disease processes and must-be astute diagnosticians. As with any disease process in dentistry and medicine, prevention is the best form of therapy, and early diagnosis and treatment is the best way of managing pathologic entities.
The next two chapters describe the role that the general dentist-should
assume in the management of a patient’s pathologic conditions. The most
important aspect of this care begins with a thorough patient examination and an accurate diagnosis of disease. Chapter 21 covers these topics in detail and in a fashion meaningful to the general dentist, Chapter 22 describes the surgical management of pathologic diseases of the oral cavity and contiguous structures. Details of surgical technique are provided in depth for lesions that the general dentist may encounter. The surgical management of major pathologic conditions aed tumors of the oral and maxillofacial region is also presented, but the emphasis is on the general dentist’s role in overall ‘patientmanagement.