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Aspen Dental partners with the Oral Cancer Foundation to raise awareness of oral cancer and increase funds for continued research

May 13, 2015
More than 4,000 ViziLite advanced oral cancer screenings were conducted at Aspen Dental practices in April, Oral Cancer Awareness Month

More than 4,000 ViziLiteadvanced oral cancer screenings were conducted at Aspen Dental practices in April, Oral Cancer Awareness Month

AspenDental will be donating $20,205 to the Oral Cancer Foundation (OCF) as part of a program that contributed $5 for each ViziLite oral cancer screening conducted at Aspen Dental practices in April – officially known as Oral Cancer Awareness Month. Aspen Dental, one of the largest and fastest-growing networks of dental care providers in the U.S. with nearly 500 practices across 30 states, conducted an overwhelming 4,041 screenings last month.

Since 2010, Aspen Dental has donated more than $83,000 to OCF.

"What many don’t realize, is that oral cancer kills more people in the U.S. than other more widely known forms of cancer, including skin, lymphatic, thyroid, and cervical cancers,” said Natalie Riggs, Director of Special Projects for The Oral Cancer Foundation.

"April is a month to call attention to the perils of this disease through the joint collaboration of offices throughout the country providing oral cancer screenings. These events are imperative for early discovery to take place and to create public awareness. We are thankful to Aspen Dental for their support with our mission related projects, making it possible to continue our efforts to decrease the number of newly diagnosed patients and support those that it does affect.”

According to OCF, approximately 43,250 people in the U.S. will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer in 2015. Of those newly diagnosed individuals, just over half will be alive in five years. Sadly, this disease will cause more than 8,000 deaths this year, killing roughly one person per hour.

Oral cancer however can be identified early through screenings. It is frequently preceded by an identifiable pre-malignant lesion and can be diagnosed at a much earlier stage (I or II) with ViziLite Plus, a specially designed light technology.

“Unfortunately many patients are not familiar with the risk factors or symptoms that serve as warning signs of oral cancer,” said Dr. Melissa Thompson, lead dentist and owner of three Aspen Dental offices in Massachusetts. “In April, we met with many patients who were previously unaware of traditional oral cancer screenings, but were eager to have them done and learn more about the risk factors associated with oral cancer. We hope that our efforts helped to educate those about the importance of early detection.”

To learn more about oral cancer screenings, visit the OFC website at

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