A DENTAL crown once belonging to the King of Rock n Roll may already have helped save a life, before entering a Barry dental practice.
Staff at Advance Dental Care, Highlight Park, Barry, welcomed Elvis’ crown on Friday, June 6 – but only recently assisted a patient who has since been treated for mouth cancer.
The tooth has been part of a tour aiming to raise awareness of mouth cancer and staff and visitors welcomed the arrival of the King’s Crown with Elvis impersonator, Gareth Jones, songs, an Elvis photo booth, hot drinks and biscuits and most importantly free oral mouth cancer checks for those attending – whether a registered patient or not.
The crown was made by the star's former dentist Henry J Weiss and Canadian dentist Michael Zuk, who donated the false tooth to the tour, bid £6,500 for it at auction.
Advance Dental Care owner and dentist at the Lakin Drive practice, Andy Nourish and colleague Gareth Crowther donned Elvis attire to encourage people to sign up for the five-to-10-minute check-up.
Andy said Elvis had had a number of crown’s made in case one was urgently needed while he was on tour.
Andy said: “The girls were a little disappointed. They thought it was taken out of his mouth when he died.
“It’s been a way of getting people’s attention. Had we had said we are doing a mouth cancer screening day, people would have said: “Oh really?”
“Gareth saw a patient with a lump recently. It can be dealt with if it’s caught early.
“We’re using the fun side to get a serious message across.”
Elvis impersonator, Gareth Jones, 51, of Cardiff said the day Elvis died he had visited the dentist as he was in pain with toothache.
He said: “Staff contacted me saying they were doing a charity thing and my father had cancer.”
Mouth cancer, also known as oral cancer, sees an abnormal group of cells (tumour) develop on the surface of the tongue, mouth, lips or gums.
It can occur in the salivary glands, tonsils and the part of the throat that leads from mouth to windpipe.
It is most common in men above 50 and smoking and drinking can be two of the contributory factors.