On 4th February the world will come together to talk about cancer – the leading cause of death worldwide. As a leading dental plan provider we work alongside hundreds of dentists, practice owners and hygienists across the UK, and are fully aware of the increase in mouth cancer rates specifically.
According to Mouth Cancer Foundation, in the UK:
- 1 person every three hours is lost to Mouth Cancer
- 8,864 people were diagnosed with Mouth Cancer in 2022
- 34% of those diagnosed last year lost their life
There are many celebrities who have dealt with mouth cancer – one of the most famous being Hollywood actor Michael Douglas, who is an outspoken supporter of the Oral Cancer Foundation (OCF). However, public awareness of mouth cancer and its symptoms is still very low. This lack of awareness combined with the issue of late detection contributes to the high mortality rate in the UK.
To help highlight to others what to look out for, symptoms include (but are not limited to)*:
- Mouth ulcers that do not heal within several weeks
- Unexplained, persistent lumps in the mouth and/or lymph glands
- Pain or difficulty swallowing
- Problems with speech, changes in the voice
- Bleeding or numbness in the mouth
*Information from NHS.uk
At Patient Plan Direct, we know the benefits that come with having a dental plan in place, which includes encouraging patients to attend regular oral checks. Dental professionals are aware of what to look out for, and frequent dental appointments throughout the year act as a preventative measure by catching the disease in its early stages, consequently avoiding more invasive treatments later down the line.
Patients who join our client’s dental plans also get access at no extra cost to our Global Dental Accident & Emergency scheme. The benefits include being able to request costs for dental treatment following an accident, funds when receiving dental treatment elsewhere if they are over 25 miles away from home, and should they get a mouth cancer diagnosis they can request a one-off financial reimbursement to help them during this difficult period in their lives.
As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure and this is why Patient Plan Direct provides marketing materials for practice owners to spread the word about dental memberships and their benefits. Manageable monthly payments with regular attendance encouraged are becoming more and more common as private dentistry increases, and with mouth cancer continuing to rise, dental plans can only help in decreasing this worrying trend.
Want to know more about how we can support your patients?
Should you be a dentist who owns a practice, be a practice manager, treatment coordinator or another member of a dental team and would like to know more about the dental plans we can provide, please get in touch for an exploratory meeting to see how we can benefit your practice and patients with efficient dental membership plans.