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News / January 28, 2014

Irish dentist saves patient’s life

by Guy Hiscott

A dentist has been praised for saving a man’s life after detecting signs of oral cancer in his mouth.

A ‘suspicious lump’ was discovered by Dr Joanne O’Riordan at her practice in Cavan during a routine oral cancer screening. It was later confirmed by Dublin Dental Hospital that ex-smoker Berty Fay had oral cancer.

Berty underwent 14 hours of surgery in November 2012 to remove the lump and has since been given the all-clear.

Commenting on Dr O’Riordan’s vigilance, Berty says: ‘She most certainly saved my life. I never would have gone to the see the doctor on my own.’

Berty’s sister, Breege Fay, nominated Dr O’Riordan for the 2013 Sensodyne Sensitive Dentist Award, recognising dentists who have shown exceptional care to their patients.

Breege says: ‘Joanne was so persistent but if we had dropped it, he wouldn’t be here today.’

Dr O’Riordan says she is delighted with the positive outcome. ‘He had major surgery but he’s smiling and is in great form. It’s great to see he is doing so well.’

She continued to say that all dentists should be doing routine oral cancer screenings during examinations, especially for smokers.

Dr O’Riordan was one of five Irish dentists awarded for their exceptional care at the annual awards earlier this month.

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