Monday, November 07, 2011

The Morning Drill: November 7, 2011

John Lennon's tooth

A collection of dentistry and health related links/comments for your day.

Red Deer dentist buys Lennon's rotten tooth

A Red Deer dentist was all smiles Saturday morning after learning he had won a piece of former Beatles star John Lennon.

Michael Zuk said a "crazy obsession" led him to pay more than $30,000 Cdn for a rotten tooth of Lennon's in a U.K. auction.

"I just thought this was the most interesting thing I could ever lay my hands on," said Zuk, who placed several bids. "As long as I could get it for the right price.

"I just got lucky, or unlucky, depending on if you talk to my wife," he said of his 19,500-British-pound purchase.

"Overnight I was just thinking I'd pay almost anything for it," he added. "It became a crazy obsession."

The tooth was one of many pieces of rock memorabilia auctioned off by Omega Auctions on Saturday. Karen Fairweather, Omega Auctions co-owner, said the tooth was previously owned by Dot Jarlett, one Lennon's housekeepers in the late 1960s.

According to Fairweather, Lennon came home from the dentist one day and asked Jarlett to either dispose of the tooth or pass it along to her daughter as a souvenir.

It's been in the family's possession ever since, but was recently put up for sale to support Jarlett, who recently turned 90.

Fairweather said the item's authenticity has been questioned several times, but the company was "completely happy with the provenance of the item."

Zuk, who's practised dentistry in Red Deer for 25 years, published a book titled Confessions of a Former Cosmetic Dentist, in 2010. He admitted he hoped the purchase might draw attention to his book.
1st District political ads make Jeff Van Drew out to be scary dentist, David DeWeese out to be pension-hog
As this year's 1st District campaign reaches its crescendo, the candidates want voters to know that Republican David DeWeese is getting a public pension and Sen. Jeff Van Drew is a Democrat and a dentist.

With horror music and the sound of dental drilling in the background, a list of fees and taxes Van Drew approved scrolls past superimposed dental X-rays in one ad.

"Open wide, taxpayers," the ad begins, comparing Van Drew's re-election to a root canal.

"That wasn't our ad," DeWeese said, but added, "I thought it was funny. I don't know how it was distributed."

The ad was sponsored by the Cape May County Republican Organization.

Republican challengers in the 1st District have far less cash on hand for traditional TV air time than their opponents, campaign finance reports show. Instead, they are posting their ads, including the dentistry one, on social media sites such as YouTube and Facebook.

Van Drew said the ad was hurtful to his profession.

"I know I'm a dentist. I believe a majority of my patients think I'm a gentle one," said Van Drew, whose practice is in Pleasantville. "That's a mean-spirited ad."
State suspends license of Red Lion dentist
The Pennsylvania State Board of Dentistry has suspended the license of a Red Lion dentist for five years. But state documents indicate the board has given him the option of re-applying after three months if he undergoes intensive treatment for alcohol addiction.

The board originally suspended the license of Dr. Kevin John Kanya in July, in response to allegations that he appeared to be drunk at his practice and represented a threat to his patients.

Kanya could not be reached for comment. But his lawyer, Douglas France, of Springettsbury Township, said Kanya waived a hearing before the State Board of Dentistry and that the decision issued Oct. 28 represented a "negotiated resolution" between Kanya and the board.

France said Kanya does intend to seek the treatment needed to get his license restored in three months.

"Dr. Kanya was still of the opinion that his alcohol use didn't jeopardize his patients," France said. "This resolution allowed for the board to be assured that he received some treatment to ensure that he wasn't a danger to his patients."

Ronald Ruman is a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of State, which oversees professional licensing. He said it's common for professionals threatened with license suspension to reach a settlement with their respective professional boards rather than go through a hearing.

"It's a way to reach a resolution without going through that formal hearing process and typically demonstrates a willingness on the part of the license holder to go through with the board's requirements of them," Ruman said.

A docket that the State Board of Dentistry filed in July alleged the following about Kanya:

--- He pleaded guilty in 2004 to a drunken driving offense.

--- He began drinking again after taking a leave of absence from his dental practice in 2009 to get inpatient alcohol treatment.

---  In April, an employee found a bottle containing alcohol in a restroom at the practice. Kanya acknowledged the bottle was his.

--- He appeared to be intoxicated at the dental practice on three occasions in May and June.

At the board's order, Kanya underwent a physician's evaluation in July and was found to be suffering from alcohol abuse and dependence, and from depression and anxiety, according to state documents.
Murder Suspect's Body Found on Stolen Boat
The search for a suspect in the Oct. 27 murder of a woman at a southwest Houston dental office ended with his apparent suicide on a stolen boat found off the Florida coast.

Noel Sosa-Ruiz, 41, was charged Oct. 28 with murder in the death of Yodani Cruz-Rojas.

Police found the body of Cruz-Rojas, 29, inside the Smiley Dental & Orthodontics building on Bissonnet Street near Rampart Street. She suffered multiple gunshot wounds.

Homicide investigators with the Houston Police Department learned Sosa-Ruiz abandoned a vehicle Friday morning along the Florida coast, stole a boat and tried to flee to his native country of Cuba, HPD spokesman Kese Smith confirmed Sunday with FOX 26 News.

Authorities in Florida reported the boat stolen and Sosa-Ruiz was later found in the boat adrift three miles from Cuban waters near the Bahamas. A family from Key Largo, Fla. reported the boat had been stolen Friday by Sosa-Ruiz, who was a family friend.
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