Part of John Lennon’s rotten tooth has gone on display at a dentist surgery in Chorley.
The molar, which was given by the former Beatle to his housekeeper in the 1960s, was sold last year to Canadian dentist Michael Zuk for £19,500.
It has now been ground down and incorporated into three 3cm by 2cm metal dog tag necklaces, one of which is touring surgeries across the UK, raising awareness of Mouth Cancer Action Month.
Southport Road Dental Practice in Chorley was allowed to have the necklace yesterday, and displayed it on the reception counter around the neck of a John Lennon mannequin, complete with wig, moustache and trademark round glasses.
Staff got into the spirit of the occasion by playing Beatles songs, wearing 1960s-inspired peace sign t-shirts and practice owner Dave Hickey spent the day wearing a Sergeant Pepper jacket.
Smile adviser Claire Lord said: “It’s been a bit manic with people coming in to see the necklace, trying it on, trying the wig on, and having their picture taken with it.
“There’s been a lot of interest, and we’ve been able to give away some free samples of toothpaste, mouthwash, and information on mouth cancer to everyone coming in.
“We’re glad that the tooth has been ground up and put inside the necklace, because you wouldn’t want the tooth on display as it was, all rotten.”
Mouth cancer kills about 1,700 people in the UK every year. The most common symptoms include painless ulcers that do not heal, red and white patches and unusual changes in the mouth.
Cancer Research UK says oral cancer rates are increasing – by 2030 it is predicted there will be 9,200 cases of oral cancer in the UK every year compared with 6,240 in 2009.
Claire added: “Having the tooth was a bit of fun and it made the very serious subject of mouth cancer more approachable and less scary.
“Mouth cancer is very easy to spot when you know what you’re looking for, and as with all cancer, the sooner it is spotted, the easier it is to treat.”
The necklaces have been designed by Beverly Hills jeweller Ari Soffer, and have been valued at £15,600 each.