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Study: Engaging dental providers in HPV vaccine promotion

June 2, 2021
Research indicates an overall willingness of dentists and hygienists to play a role in patient education on the HPV vaccine, which can help prevent HPV-related oral cancer.

A study surveyed dental providers on their willingness to play a role in promoting the HPV vaccine to patients with the goal that engaging dentist and hygienists in HPV vaccine promotion could give parents another source of information on the vaccine—and ultimately help increase vaccinations and reduce oropharyngeal cancer, which is on the rise.

Overall study results indicated dental providers are willing to participate in HPV vaccine promotion but feel that future efforts should focus on addressing barriers—including time and knowledge—to doing so.

An increase in HPV-associated oropharyngeal cancer and little progress in vaccination rates highlight the need to find new ways educate patients and promote the vaccine, particularly to parents of adolescents, researchers indicated.

In a separate statement released in 2018, the ADA said it “urges dentists, as well as local and state dental societies, to support the use and administration of the HPV vaccine as recommended by the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.”

Through methods including surveys and interviews with dentists and hygienists, researchers concluded that dental providers' willingness to be partners in HPV vaccine promotion came across strongly.

Access the full study, A Mixed-Methods Examination of Factors Related to HPV Vaccination Promotion in Private Dental Settings, via the CDC.