The objective of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of sentinel lymph node biopsy by using a radiotracer lymphatic mapping technique in patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity, and the diagnostic value of this technique. We studied twenty patients with previously untreated squamous cell carcinomas of the oral cavity and N0 necks. After the peritumoral injection of 99m Tc filtered tin colloid preoperatively, lymphoscintigraphy and intraoperative mapping using a gamma detector were performed to localize sentinel nodes. An open biopsy of the sentinel node was followed by complete neck dissection. We identified the sentinel nodes in 19 of 20 patients (95.0%) by lymphoscintigraphy and in all (100%) by intraoperative gamma detector. In all cases, the status of the sentinel node accurately predicted the pathologic status of the neck with the false negative rate being 0%. The negative predictive value for the absence of cervical metastases was 100%. In conclusion, our radiolocalization technique of sentinel nodes using 99m Tc filtered tin colloid in N0 squamous cell carcinomas of the oral cavity is technically feasible and appears to accurately predict the presence of the occult metastatic disease. Copyright © The Korean Academy of Medical Sciences.