The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 22 November 2008 / 24 Heshvan 5769

A Tooth In Time

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

The elderly man sitting in the dentist's chair began to cough uncontrollably and to gasp for breath. The dentist was in shock as he realized that the cause of his patient's agony was a tooth implant that had slipped from his hand into the man's throat.

Without delay the dentist took him into his car and sped to the nearest hospital, fearful for the life of his patient and concerned about the malpractice suit threatened by the man's two sons who had accompanied him on his visit to the dentist.

As the dentist and the sons nervously waited outside the surgery room they noticed that there was an unusual amount of activity, with doctors running in and out. Only when the operation was successfully completed with the removal of the errant tooth did they discover what had taken place.

When the operating doctor made an X-ray of the throat in order to determine the tooth's exact location he noticed a cancerous growth. It was decided to immediately remove it and this caused the flurry of activity. The good news was that the dangerous growth was totally removed in time and could have been life-threatening if not for the search for the tooth.

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