Washington: John Lennon’s molar has been enlisted to help inspire people from Britain to walk into the dentist’s clinic and receive a simple, 10-minute-long test for oral cancer.
Tony Gedge, who runs a charity called Dental Mavericks, has turned to one of the former Beatle’s molars.
Encased in a smart silver pendant, Lennon’s tooth is going on tour. Walk into your dentist’s office, try on the necklace with the tooth, and get a free cancer screening.
“The biggest groups at risk for oral cancer are males, 55-59,” Gedge told ABC News.
“They were around when the Beatles were doing their thing. So to appeal to the 55-plus boomer market, to get them into the practice with something they know – the Beatles – was far easier than getting them in by spouting a bunch of statistics,” he said.
In the mid 1960s, Lennon gave his tooth to his housekeeper, Dot Jarlett, while she worked at his home southwest of London.
Her family kept it until last year, when Canadian dentist Michael Zuk bought it in an auction for more than 31,000 dollars.
Zuk then created three necklaces containing fragments of tooth and sent one to Gedge.
In the next few weeks the necklace will visit 16 dental practices.
Dentists will check anyone who comes in to see the tooth for oral cancer – an easy and painless detection that can be done with the help of a special light.