Walk-in clinics are being offered at a Devon hospital to ensure people are not missing early signs of mouth cancer.
Consultants are concerned some cancers are missed
Doctors in Devon and Cornwall fear more people may be missing symptoms because a shortage of NHS dentists means they have check-ups less frequently.
The open clinics are at Plymouth's Derriford Hospital until Wednesday. More are to be held later in the year.
Consultants say such clinics can often be less intimidating for people than getting a GP or dentist's referral.
Clinic volunteer Vera Mitchell was diagnosed with mouth cancer nearly a decade ago.
She said people needed to be vigilant and get any persistent sore spots in the mouth and throat checked out.
She said: "Because it was diagnosed early, it meant it was able to be treated early. It gave me a much better survival rate."
The latest figures show that just over half of adults in the South West have seen an NHS dentist in the past two years.
Last year more than 250,000 people in Cornwall alone were thought to not have an NHS dentist.
Derriford Consultant Maxillofacial Surgeon Paul McArdle said he was concerned such figures meant some mouth cancers were missed.
He said: "We're a little bit wary that there maybe a hidden cohort of people who don't get the dental access that they might do and miss screening.
"Hence they don't get referred at the early stage that is necessary."
There are 4,500 new cases of the disease in the UK every year, but fewer than half of patients survive because it is not detected early enough.
About 80% of cases are associated with smoking.