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VDA to Bring “Where’s the Chair?” Campaign to Richmond, Offer Oral Cancer Screenings October 17

Where's the ChairVDA Dentists Will Conduct Quick Screenings at the American Diabetes Association’s Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes 

A 5K fundraiser filled with music, food, local entertainment and…a dental chair? The Virginia Dental Association (VDA) is a proud supporter of the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and knows a healthy mouth is critical for a healthy body.

On Saturday, October 17 from 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., the VDA will bring a portable dental chair to the 2015 “Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes” and two VDA member dentists will provide screenings for oral cancer. The screenings will take place in the Wellness Village next to the VDA table at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center (2401 W. Leigh Street).

 Anyone is welcome to sit in the dental chair to receive a two-minute screening for oral cancer. The process is non-invasive and does not require instruments; the dentist simply checks in and around the mouth area for abnormalities. Each year, 42,000 people are diagnosed with and 8,000 die from oral cancer.  That’s why the VDA wants to make sure all Virginians are screened for the deadly disease. 

“We are excited to bring our ‘Where’s the Chair?’ campaign to Richmond,” says Dr. Richard Taliaferro, president of the VDA. “We expect to catch the public by surprise with the dental chair in such an uncommon place, but every Virginian needs to be screened for oral cancer so why not take the message right to the people?”

Already “The Chair” has appeared at public events in Hampton Roads, Roanoke and Charlottesville. Each time, VDA member dentists screened people “off the street.” In Roanoke, Dr. David Black even conducted an oral cancer screening on a news anchor live on the air. 

At the Richmond event, the VDA will provide information on oral health services and how to find a local VDA member dentist. People can also snap “Healthy Selfies” while in the dental chair to share on social media and encourage friends and family to be screened for oral cancer. 

“Oral cancer is serious business, but we want to take a creative approach and make our efforts memorable,” says Taliaferro. “If someone leaves the 5K on October 17 and talks about the importance of oral cancer screenings, that’s a victory.”