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‘Two minutes to save a life’

This August, the Mouth Cancer Foundation announces The Dental Centre in London as its ‘Practice of the Month’

The Dental Centre has gone above and beyond to implement the charity’s Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme so was chosen from all dental practices across the UK who have signed up to the charity’s new Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme. 

By joining the scheme, the dental practice is placing the onus on their own team to actively prove they are carrying out a thorough head and neck cancer check at routine appointments.
 
The scheme is a ‘two minutes to save a life’ screening protocol, which is a 10-point checklist that every dentist should be able to include in their routine examinations, whether they’re based at an NHS, private or mixed practice.  The charity accredits dental practices that meet the criteria.
 
Here, DR C K Jones outlines how Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme has inspired her team to raise public awareness of mouth cancer.
 
Practice Name:            The Dental Centre
Practice Address:        University College London, 5th Floor, The Health Centre, 3 Gower Place,
London, WC1E 6BN
Size of Practice:           3 dentists, 2 hygienists, 1 oral surgeon, 2 nurses and 2 receptionists
Practice website:         www.thedentalcentrelondon.com
Scheme Lead:              DR C K Jones
 
Tell us about your practice
The Dental Centre at the University College London has been established for more than 40 years. Dr Jones has been Principal of the Practice for over 24 years and over this time has modernised the Practice with great customer service as the focus.

We bring a wealth of experience and high standards of professional qualification to enhance the dental treatment experience and we are constantly encouraging our team to develop their skills and fulfil their potential as individuals. We are committed to offering the highest level of care and our Denplan Excel Accreditation (which we have held for over 10 years) is a visible sign of this commitment.

The accreditation programme provides tools and structures to help us communicate about oral health in a simple and effective way. It helps us to ensure that patients can participate in and understand all aspects of your oral health, providing them with quality assured dentistry.

What attracted you to the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme?
The Mouth Cancer Accreditation Scheme raises public awareness of this rare cancer and promotes prevention and screening as the best way to reduce the mortality rates.  Regular dental checkups are so important as early detection by dentists can often save lives as a complete cure is often possible.
The Mouth Cancer Foundation offers support, resources and information to people at a difficult period in their lives. The accreditation recognises the commitment by our practice to carry out screening to a national standard and to train all our staff to ensure that regular screening and talking to patients about lifestyle changes (ie smoking and drinking less and eating a healthy diet) are part of our usual dental check up routine.

How has the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme helped The Dental Centre reach best practice standards in the management of mouth cancer in general practice?
The Mouth Cancer Accreditation scheme has helped our practice really focus their attention on the subject of Mouth Cancer and we undertook a comprehensive evening training session with our whole team to make sure that everyone completely understood the importance of screening for mouth cancer. We feel we can develop this further at our monthly team meetings with information from your monthly newsletter.
 
What benefits has The Dental Centre seen for the team, patients and wider community since introducing the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme into practice?
Our team is focused on giving the best quality care, and the accreditation scheme has only enhanced our profile in this respect. It is important to stress to our patients that we are always routinely screening for mouth cancer and that screening is checking for cancer before any symptoms are showing. It is a vital part of our comprehensive check up that we are emphasising more to our patients. It is important for everyone to recognise that if abnormal tissue or cancer is found early, it may be easier to treat. By the time symptoms appear, cancer may have begun to spread. The number of deaths from oral cancer has slowly decreased over the past 30 years and this is as a direct result of organisations such as the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation scheme raising awareness. Evidence shows that new cases of mouth cancer are increasing year on year in this country.
 
What do the team thinks about the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme
“The Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme is an excellent way to demonstrate to patients the commitment of their dental care providers to the screening and detection of oral cancers. Early detection is vital and this scheme can help to achieve those aims.”
 
What the patients say about The Dental Centre
I came to Dr Jones a somewhat nervous and fearful patient. I had only ever been with my family dentist and when I moved to London I had no idea how to find a good dentist. I avoided the matter for three years and eventually picked up the phone to Dr Jones after speaking to Denplan and asking for recommendations.
I spoke with Lindsay, the senior receptionist, who was sympathetic, friendly and listened to my concerns. I immediately felt at ease and made an appointment. Upon arrival I was pleased to realise the friendly ear Lindsay had offered was the ethos of the entire Practice.

Dr Jones has only ever been informed, friendly, patient and she has my absolute trust and respect. She's fun and always a joy to be around and I always feel cared for and heard. She shows compassion and is non-judgmental and is very very thorough.

Her team are all great and Gemma my hygienist has shown absolute vigilance and calmness and eased my fears and concerns. She's always been patient and professional and made me feel more in control and informed with techniques of better brushing (knowledge I had not realised I needed!) and encouragement.  Dr Jones and her team show utmost respect and care for their patients and their concerns. I would happily recommend them and intend to be with them for as long as possible!

I have been visiting the The Dental Centre at Gower Place, London WC1 for 13 years and could not recommend it more highly.  The team is efficient, professional and friendly. The plans and costs of treatment are always explained thoroughly and Dr Jones’ work is exceptionally good!

The Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme is open to any dental practice whose clinicians are registered with the GDC.  For more information or to join please contact the Mouth Cancer Foundation via info@mouthcancerfoundation.org or call +44 (0) 1924 950 950 for more information.

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