Woman grateful 'for rest of her life' to dentist who insisted she go for cancer tests

A woman has said she will be grateful for the rest of her life to a dentist who insisted she go for further tests, which found she had leukaemia.

Akvile Matinkenaite said Dr Karl Cassidy had saved her life by insisting she went for urgent further medical investigation which resulted in the timely diagnosis and successful treatment of Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

She said: “In refusing to accept my GP's diagnosis of mumps and by stressing the need for urgent action on my part in a calm and professional way, he saved my life.

"I was told by my consultant that only for the timely intervention of Dr Cassidy I would not be here today.

"I will be grateful to Dr Cassidy for the rest of my life.”

Dr Karl Cassidy, with his patient Akvile Martinkenaite, who nominated him for the award. Pictures: Maxwells

The dentist from the Shelbourne Dental Clinic, Dublin 4 has been named the ‘Sensodyne Sensitive Dentist of the Year 2015’ after Ms Matinkenaite nominated him for the award.

Dr Karl Cassidy, winner of the Sensodyne Sensitive Dentist of the Year Award 2015.

He said he was honoured, and added: “A visit to the dentist is no longer only about a filling, a crown, or a cleaning, but can be a matter of life and death.

"Dental examinations, which include routine screenings for oral cancer, and which can allow the dentist pick up on warning signs related to other health matters can save lives.”

Other outstanding acts of patient care recognised at last night's awards included:

  • Helping a patient with a dental phobia to overcome her fears;
  • Empathy with an end-of-life patient;
  • Out-of-hours access to emergency treatment for a new patient;
  • The compassionate approach shown to a vulnerable patient in recovery from an addiction

The awards invite patients to nominate their dentist if they believe they have gone above and beyond normal patient care in treating patients.

Hundreds of nominations were received from patients with a total of 18 dentists honoured at the awards which were held in the RDS Concert Hall, Dublin last night.

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