Dennis Kucinich Settles Olive Pit Case

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Not sure if this qualifies as a Friday news dump, but we now know more than I, for one, ever expected to about what went on in Dennis Kucinich's mouth.

In announcing today he was settling the lawsuit he launched against the operators of the Longworth House Office Building cafeteria for serving him a sandwich wrap that contained an errant olive pit, which cracked his tooth, the Democratic congressman from Ohio also felt the need to describe -- in excruciating medical detail -- the precise nature of his injuries. Kucinich's catalog of woe:

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, below 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.

Kucinich said he was providing the description to satisfy public curiosity and a clamor for information about what led him to sue.

All of which reminds me, whatever happened to Democrats' one-time push to provide dental coverage for poor kids?

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Garance Franke-Ruta is a former senior editor covering national politics at The Atlantic.

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