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International Journal of Dentistry
Volume 2013, Article ID 194029, 17 pages
Review Article

Advances in Optical Adjunctive Aids for Visualisation and Detection of Oral Malignant and Potentially Malignant Lesions

1School of Dentistry, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4000, Australia
2UQ Centre for Clinical Research, Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital, The University of Queensland, Herston, QLD 4029, Australia

Received 17 June 2013; Accepted 20 July 2013

Academic Editor: Rosnah Mohd Zain

Copyright © 2013 Nirav Bhatia et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Traditional methods of screening for oral potentially malignant disorders and oral malignancies involve a conventional oral examination with digital palpation. Evidence indicates that conventional examination is a poor discriminator of oral mucosal lesions. A number of optical aids have been developed to assist the clinician to detect oral mucosal abnormalities and to differentiate benign lesions from sinister pathology. This paper discusses advances in optical technologies designed for the detection of oral mucosal abnormalities. The literature regarding such devices, VELscope and Identafi, is critically analysed, and the novel use of Narrow Band Imaging within the oral cavity is also discussed. Optical aids are effective in assisting with the detection of oral mucosal abnormalities; however, further research is required to evaluate the usefulness of these devices in differentiating benign lesions from potentially malignant and malignant lesions.