JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Biopsy of the oral mucosa and use of histopathology services.

Patients often present with intraoral pathology in the general dental practice setting. Therefore, it is important that dental practitioners are aware of how to deal with pathology when this occurs and have an understanding of investigative techniques that might assist in making a diagnosis. Biopsy and subsequent histological examination of the lesion is an important diagnostic tool. Even if dentists refer the patient to another practitioner for the biopsy, the referring practitioner still needs to be familiar with the procedure and results obtained so that the patient can be appropriately managed. This paper reviews clinical issues that may impact on biopsy procedures and the potential pitfalls and problems that may affect the histological assessment of tissue and therefore affect diagnosis. The medico-legal responsibilities of practitioners are also addressed.

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