Mobile dental van offers free mouth cancer screening for local residents in need
Published: 23 October 2019
As part of Mouth Cancer Action Month, Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust’s Special Care Dental Service will be travelling around in their mobile dental van raising awareness of Mouth Cancer and encouraging those most at risk to drop in and get screened – for free!
Residents who do not have a dentist or haven’t seen their dentist recently are being encouraged to take the opportunity to visit the mobile dental van for free screening. In addition, anyone who is worried about symptoms like an ulcer that hasn’t healed in three weeks; red/whites patches in the mouth that you’ve not shown a dentist, or unusual lumps or swellings in the mouth, head or neck area is encouraged to attend.
Other people that may benefit from visiting the mobile dental specialists would be people that have a higher risk of developing mouth cancer, such as those that smoke or drink heavily or have the HPV* virus.
The free drop-in sessions at the mobile dental van are available from 10am – 3pm (with a break between 12.30pm – 1pm) at the following locations:
- Tuesday 19 November – Paignton, Victoria Street (opposite Natwest)
- Wednesday 20 November – Newton Abbot, St Leonards Clock Tower
- Friday 22 November – Dartmouth, Townstal Community Hall (Note – Dartmouth session will be based in the community hall, not in the dental van)
- Wednesday 27 November – Torquay, Lower Union Street (near H&M)
Sally Lacey, Oral Health Educator for the Special Care Dental Service at Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Attending a dentist regularly is not only important for the health and longevity of your teeth but also so that the dentist can check for any signs of cancer. Spotting the symptoms early really is key to the successful treatment of the disease.
“If you haven’t had a check-up with your dentist recently, if you’re showing any of the symptoms, or if you fall within a high-risk group, I would strongly recommend coming along and speaking to our specialists in the mobile dentist van.
“The mouth cancer checks are free and screening for mouth cancer is quick and totally painless. It typically consists of an examination of the tongue, gums, lips, inside cheeks, and the roof and floor of the mouth – there’s nothing to fear!”
Sally added: “In previous years, the mobile dental van has proved very popular so please be aware that at busy times we may need to prioritise people who don’t visit the dentist often.”
Mouth Cancer Action Month highlights that more than 6,000 people annually are diagnosed with mouth cancer, half of which will lose their lives to the disease.
It is recommended that you should visit your dentist at intervals recommended by your dentist. This could be, for example, every six, 12 or 24 months. If you are not registered with a dentist, NHS dentist places are available. For details of practices in your local area please contact the Dental Helpline on 03330 063 300 or email Access Dental Helpline.
*HPV: Human papilloma virus (HPV) – HPV is the virus that causes genital warts.
Mouth cancer information: The NHS website has more information on the symptoms and treatment for Mouth Cancer.