Interviews Available: Mouth Cancer Foundation Consultant – Elizabeth Laverack

                                  Acorn Dental Practice Dentist – Maxine Flynn

To set up an interview and for more information please call Media Ambitions on + 44 (0) 208 940 2222 or email

Today, a dental practice that has been serving residents of York for 16 years, Acorn Dental Practice, is announced as the Mouth Cancer Foundation’s ‘Practice of the Month’ for April. The team has proven they go 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 award-winning 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 are based at an NHS, private or mixed practice. The charity accredits dental practices that meet the criteria.

Here Dentist, Maxine Flynn outlines how the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme has inspired her team to raise public awareness of mouth cancer.

Practice Name: Acorn Dental Practice

Practice Address: 44 York Road, Acomb, York, YO24 4LZ

Size of Practice: 4 surgeries, 2 waiting areas, reception and a decontamination room

Practice Website:

Scheme Lead: Maxine Flynn

Tell us about your practice written by Maxine Flynn

Acorn Dental Practice is a team of committed and positive people who strive to bring high standard dental care to York and its surrounds. We work with our patients to improve and maintain their general and dental health, putting their needs first. We help them to make the most of their smiles, not compromising on the time we spend with them, the materials and techniques we use or the cross infection procedures we carry out.

What attracted you to the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme?

We felt the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation scheme was a way to highlight to our patients and the wider community the importance of screening for head and neck cancers.

How has the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme helped Acorn Dental Practice reach best practice standards in the management of mouth cancer in general practice?

The Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme has made sure we have the systems in place to assess every patient and to get our patients seen quickly if we are worried. We are now counting the number of patients with suspicious lesions and their outcomes.

What benefits has Acorn Dental Practice seen for the team, patients and wider community since introducing the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme in practice?

We as dentists have been doing cancer screening on all our patients for many years but the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation scheme has made us use the whole team to get the message across, which is better for our patients. The rest of the staff is now confident to talk about the issue to our patients and people in the wider community. Hopefully this will mean people will come and get checked more often so any cancers can be caught earlier.

What the team thinks about the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme

“The Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme has helped me become more confident about discussing the signs and symptoms of mouth cancer with our patients.”

Emma – Receptionist/Dental Nurse

“I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme. I feel that the practice screening day that we held was a great success and I’m glad I was part of it.”

Amy – Dental Nurse

What patients say about Acorn Dental Practice

“I have been a patient at Acorn Dental Practice for about 10 years and cannot recommend it highly enough. I have had some very intense dental work done in the last year including an extraction, four root canals, fillings and a double winged bridge, which I am so happy with. The practice is a very happy and comfortable place to be and they all put you at ease instantly. I was very nervous about the treatment that I had to undergo but Maxine Flynn is such a highly skilled dentist and put your own needs immediately first. I had to have an extraction, which was at the side of an old extraction and didn’t want to leave the practice ‘toothless’ as it was my front bottom tooth. Maxine knew immediately what to do and I left the practice with my own extracted tooth and a composite tooth built onto my existing teeth. The result was amazing and it looked so natural. I am completely over the moon with my new smile and to be in no more pain is priceless. I could never imagine having dental work done anywhere else than at the Acorn Dental Practice.”

Tracy H.

“Dear Maxine,

A special thank you for your professionalism, vigilance and alertness.

The lumps you spotted on my tonsils during my last examination have turned out to be innocent cysts, (thank the lord!) Thanks to you I got fast track treatment at the hospital in York via a very nice consultant, Mr Grace. You are a true star!”


The Mouth 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 or call +44 (0) 1924 950 950.



For general press enquiries, please contact:

Elizabeth Ayto Laverack or Izabela Nair

Media Ambitions - +44 208 940 2222


The Mouth Cancer Foundation –

The Mouth Cancer Foundation is a registered charity no. 1109298.

* The Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme helps dentists to know what they are looking for and how to check and refer patients.  This will allow head and neck cancers to be caught earlier.  Head and neck cancers are particularly vicious and debilitating when detected late.  Patients who survive are a huge drain on medical resources for the rest of their lives, in terms of post operative and the psychological care required.  With earlier detection, lives are saved and costs on the NHS will reduce dramatically. 

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. 

Full membership includes access to a dedicated section of the charity website and FREE 1 hour CPD element as well as professional development and training modules suitable for all members of the practice team to ensure regular screening benefits practice patients.

The Mouth Cancer Foundation is a charity solely dedicated to supporting people affected by head and neck cancer.  Support can play a pivotal role in meeting the psychosocial needs of patients. The Mouth Cancer Foundation’s online and telephone support service has given head and neck cancer patients and families the opportunity to articulate the consequences of their cancer journey and communicate their shared experiences. It is vital that the charity continues to provide free accessible information resources and ensure Mouth Cancer Foundation support is provided to those that need them.   

About Mouth Cancer

  • Around 60,000 people in the UK will be diagnosed with mouth cancer over the next decade.
  • In the UK, over 7,700 people were diagnosed with Mouth Cancer in 2011. 
  • Tobacco use is still considered the main cause of mouth cancer. According to the World Health Organisation, up to half of current smokers will die of a tobacco-related illness – including mouth cancer.
  • Drinking to excess can increase the risk of mouth cancer by four times.  Those who smoke and drink are up to 30 times more likely to develop mouth cancer.
  • Mouth cancer is twice more common in men than in women, though an increasing number of women are being diagnosed with the disease.
  • Age is another factor, with people over the age of 40 more likely to be diagnosed, though more young people are now being affected than previously.
  • Poor diet is linked to a third of all cancer cases.
  • Experts suggest the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), transmitted through oral sex, could overtake tobacco and alcohol as the main risk factor within the coming decade.
  • Cancers can occur in any part of the mouth, tongue, lips, and adjacent areas like the throat, salivary glands, pharynx, larynx, sinus, and other sites in the head and neck area.

Symptoms include:

  • An ulcer or white or red patch anywhere in the mouth that does not heal within 3 weeks.
  • A lump or swelling anywhere in the mouth, jaw or neck that persists for more than 3 weeks.
  • A difficulty in swallowing, chewing or moving the jaw or tongue.
  • A numbness of the tongue or other area of the mouth.
  • A feeling that something is caught in the throat.
  • A chronic sore throat or hoarseness that persists more than 6 weeks.
  •   An unexplained loosening of teeth with no dental cause.

More information about Mouth Cancer is available at the Mouth Cancer Foundation web site or by emailing




Microsoft Office document icon MCSAS Practice of the Month PR 07.04.15.doc