Dentists play an important role in the early detection and diagnosis of oral cancer. In areas with a high prevalence of oral cancer, screening and patient education should receive much more emphasis. The dentist-patient relationship is a cornerstone of dentistry. Patients trust their dentist to be committed to their wellbeing. Thus, dental professionals carry a substantial social and ethical responsibility toward their patients. In this work, the author reports five cases of oral premalignant conditions that were missed due to dental negligence by dental interns practicing in university dental clinics. The observed passive behavior by dental interns in relation to oral cancer screening and patient education is alarming. Five cases were at high risk of delayed diagnosis because of such behavior. The finding suggests the likelihood of overlooking other similar cases, potentially drawing more attention to dentists’ responsibility toward the late diagnosis of oral cancer. This clinical series indicates that more emphasis should be placed on oral cancer examinations, as well as on the ethical and legal consequences of dental malpractice.
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