Gerald S. Fine, D.D.S.

   Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Brookline Office
Tel: 617-731-6060

Our commitment is to provide you the highest standard of oral and maxillofacial surgery in a professional manner.

Oral Biopsies in the Geriatric Patient

Brookline is a community with a widely diverse population which includes both students attending the local colleges in Greater Boston as well as the senior citizens who may reside in their own homes, apartments, or in Senior and Assisted Living housing. My mother, who is 96 years old, is one of these seniors living in assisted living in the area. Recently my mother needed a small suspicious oral growth removed. Her pathology report diagnosed a benign growth, but it brought to mind the different concerns and risk factors associated with the treatment of the geriatric patient.

The number of geriatric patients (those considered aged 55 years or older) is growing faster than any other segment of the population. By the year 2030, about 20% of the U.S. population will be aged 65 or older. Will this older population have oral pathology which differ from a younger population.

A retrospective study of more than 52,000 oral biopsies over a 33 year time period was reviewed. Nearly 16% of the biopsies from patients aged 65 years and older and 4.8% from patients aged 85-98.

The most frequent diagnosis with-in the younger group was a Fibroma, whereas for the older group, Squamous Cell Carcinomawas most frequently diagnosed.

The 5 most commonly diagnoses oral lesions among patients 85 years of age and older were:

Diagnosis Percentage
Squamous Cell Carcinoma 11.5%
Fibroma 10.2%
Epithelial Hyperplasia 7.4%
Ulcer 7.4%
Periapical Granuloma 5.6%

 out of every TEN of your patients in this age group will likely have SQUAMOUS CELL CARCINOMA

The likelihood of carcinoma mandates the biopsy of ANY and ALL suspicious lesions.

‍Gerald S. Fine, D.D.S.
Practice limited to oral & maxillofacial surgery‍