Aspen Dental Urges Screenings During Oral Cancer Awareness Week

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Aspen Dental urges screenings during Oral Cancer Awareness Week

According to the American Cancer Society, some 34,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer in 2007, and 7,500 will die from the disease. In recognition of Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week (April 16-22), Aspen Dental ( recommends oral cancer screenings for anyone who hasn't had a dental exam in more than a year.

Oral cancer can develop in any area of the mouth, and most cases begin in the tongue or in the floor of the mouth. Tobacco users are most at risk of developing oral cancer. Three out of four oral cancers are attributed to the use of smoked and smokeless tobacco.

"Tobacco users should seriously consider the impact," said Maureen Howes, Manager, Hygiene Services, Aspen Dental Management, Inc. "Smoking cigarettes, cigars or pipes, using chewing tobacco and dipping snuff have all been proven to have a strong link to oral cancer."
Although tobacco users account for most cases of oral cancer, non-smokers cannot rest easy. Nearly 25 percent of new oral cancer cases occur in individuals with no known risk factors. Many of these cases occur in young women, likely related to the HPV virus.

Symptoms of oral cancer include:

  •     A mouth sore that fails to heal or that bleeds easily.
  •     A white or red patch in the mouth that will not go away.
  •     A lump, thickening or soreness in the mouth, throat or tongue.
  •     A lump in your neck.
  •     Difficulty chewing or swallowing food.
  •     Bleeding in your mouth.
  •     Loose teeth.
  •     Difficulty wearing dentures.
  •     An earache.

Oral cancer screenings are part of regular dental exams. All 100-plus Aspen Dental offices in ten states also offer a state-of-the-art oral cancer screening with Vizilite Plus, a quick and painless light technology that helps detect oral cancer at its earliest stages. If left untreated, oral cancer can spread to the neck, lungs or other parts of the body. When found early, oral cancers have an 80 to 90 percent cure rate.

"Most early signs of oral cancer are painless and difficult to detect without a thorough exam," Howes said. "Your regular checkup is a good time for your dentist to check your entire mouth for signs of cancer. Routine thorough examination can detect the early stages of oral cancer or conditions that may lead to oral cancer."

For more information visit the company's redesigned website at

About Aspen Dental:
Aspen Dental provides access to high-quality, affordable denture and dental care through a full range of dental services, including general and cosmetic dentistry, hygiene, oral surgery, whitening, fillings, crowns and bridges. Aspen Dental specializes in fixed and removable prosthetic dentistry, offering a choice of eight proprietary styles of full and partial dentures through its comfidents® brand. There are more than 100 Aspen Dental offices throughout Connecticut, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Arizona. Aspen strives to serve historically under-served members of the community by providing dental care to the 40 percent of the population with no regular dentist or pattern of dental visits. In 2006, Aspen dentists received more than 700,000 patient visits, including visits from about 100,000 new patients and 25,000 denture patients. In 2007, Aspen anticipates more than one million patient visits.    

Mark Frank
315-454-6000 ext. 244


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