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Rep. Dennis Kucinich details his recent dental work

Text of the Ohio Democrat's letter to supporters

Dear Friend

Though I would prefer to focus your attention on my work dealing with the profoundly important issues that face our nation, such as job creation, getting the economy back on track, and ending the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq -- it seems that some are more interested in discussing my personal dental issues. Given the degree of public interest you should know some details:

This injury required nearly two years, three dental surgeries, and a substantial amount of money to rectify.

The legal action you have heard about was filed due to the severity, expense and duration of the dental injury, the complications which followed and which still persist. I wanted to resolve this matter without filing a lawsuit. The events below involved numerous dental visits, more than are detailed in this summary. The dental injury set in motion a chain of dental and medical events.

When I bit into the olive pit, (unbeknown to me at the time), upon impact the tooth split in half,  vertically through the crown and the tooth, bOhio Democrat Dennis Kucinich at the DNC 2008elow the level of the bone. Externally there was no evidence of a break. This was not about aesthetics. The internal structure of the tooth was rendered nonrestorable. Although the pain was excruciating, I shook it off and I went right back to work.   

This tooth is a key tooth which anchored my upper bridgework. The injured tooth and the bone above it became infected. I took a course of antibiotics for the infection, had an adverse reaction to the antibiotics which caused me to have an intestinal obstruction and emergency medical intervention.

Later, my dentist referred me to a specialist who informed me that the damaged tooth had to be removed.  A third dentist removed the tooth and I was fitted for a temporary partial. I waited for the bone to heal. An implant was placed, but it failed. Many months later still a second implant succeeded.

My bridgework had to be completely reconfigured, a new partial was designed, so this injury did not affect only one tooth, but rather involved six (6) replacement teeth as well.    

A new crown with a new precision attachment was engineered and put in place. To clarify, no dental expenses were covered by any health plan, nor did I have dental insurance that covered the injury, which, until it was resolved, affected my ability to chew food properly.

The clamor for information about this incident requires that I provide at least this much information. I would have liked to provide such details sooner but did not want it said that I was trying the case in the media. So that is why I declined any interviews about the matter. The parties have exchanged information and after some investigation and discussion have resolved the matter for an amount all parties believe reflects the actual out-of-pocket expenses related to this incident.

The terms of the settlement are confidential; however, I feel that the defendants have responded fairly and reasonably. I don't want to have to make another dental visit for a very long time, and will be making no further comment on this matter.

Thank you very much.

/s/  Dennis

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Photo: Rep. Dennis Kucinich. Credit: Paul J. Richards / AFP/Getty Images

Comments () | Archives (8)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Now that we have the details, I'd estimate that the maximum this could cost is
about $15,000, 10% of what he's demanding. Is the rest for 'pain and suffering?' And how much is his lawyer taking? Proof that the problem with our health care is greedy lawyers.

Boy, that photo practically screams "Put a toothbrush mustache on me!"

I should think you have too much pride to bring a law suit over a matter of accidentally finding an olive pit in a sandsich. How foolish you made yourself look and to think you actually thought you were presidential material. Maybe next time you should just stick to bread, maybe a little butter, couldn't have peanut butter might hit something hard an in old tooth that more than likely already had a crown or at least an old filling. Maybe the best way for you is to stick to seems your teeth are in as bad a condition as your voting record.

Spare the American people all of the antics of someone who is suppose to be intelligent enough to make decisions for our country. No wonder we are not in such a world of hurt. The American people have sat back for WAY too long and just let Washington to Washington, NOT ANY MORE. THIS LAST THING WITH YOU HAS JUST PROVEN WHAT WE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE WAKING UP TO. YOU ARE ALL A BUNCH OF BAFOONS.

The tooth split to the bone and he went back to work? He let it go long enough for it to get infected? Whose fault is that? And why didn't he have dental insurance? He has a history of bad dental hygiene based on his earlier dental work. He should be paid for expenses for the actual tooth and the repair for his bridgework. That's it. The rest is his own fault for waiting so long to have it taken care of.

Try growing up homeless on the streets of Cincinatti, with several siblings, living in a car, and see what wonderful shape YOUR teeth are in at 50, and WTH - what business is this of ANYONE'S??? I'm not the least bit interested in Kucinich's teeth, just what's in his brain and I think he's one of the few members of Congress that has a CLUE what's going on in this country today.

Listen teabagger, stick that toothbrush moustache on your own lip...
while you march lockstep with the rest of the deluded Beckaholics.

Redistricting by the noble republicans of Ohio should rid us of the Kucinich nuisance so he can back to waiting for UFOs full-time. HOw many employees will be let go to pay for his $150,000 extortion? I do know that federal employees have very generous dental benefits, and it seems like congressmen have way too much free time to do their personal business, so it is not like he missed "work".

Tort reform NOW!

How nasty and mean can you get toward a Congressman who is one of the brightest and most capable in USA? Why don't you focus your attention to work that he had been doing for our county to make it sustainable and independent of fossil fuels, and work for people to get health CARE, rather then overpaiing for health INSURANCE, which only enriches the Insurance companies, while 50 millions are without availability of care, unless they are independently well off or non-working like those on Medicaid.

Also, Congressman Kucinich is a champion of working people of Ohio, who need green jobs, which cannot be shipped to China by the un-scrupulous banksters and corporations, who like the cheap labor markets in regimes where people are forced to work for slave wages!?

Dental work and time and suffering because of that olive pitt is certainly worth $150,000, and not a measly $15,000, when take into account the time that Congressman had to waste on dealing with this problem.

Oh I would like to say sorry to" Gailea" and adress my critasisim towards,............" kiwikit" instead for there lame estimate of 15 gran on the dental work needed , I got in a hurry and saw the amount listed on your post and assumed it was you that originated that silly total , acutely I agree with your post and give it two thumbs up :)


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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