“I don’t know what happened. We were just taking a picture and next thing I know, I trip and Nancy tries to break my fall by grabbing my hand with her teeth! She lost her tooth, but saved my life. Nancy Wilson is my hero!” — Brad Cummings, drummer/percussionist for Blackjack Billy.
Well, that’s close to what happened. We were taking a picture, that’s true. Brad slipped, also true. As I was breaking his fall, I did lose my tooth. But the rest is exaggeration on the country artist’s part!
It started out innocently enough. Monday, Oct. 12, K99.1FM was hosting another “Unplugged” event at W.O. Wright’s in Beavercreek. Those are free acoustic listener appreciation concerts. This time around, our longtime friends, the guys from Blackjack Billy, were in town. Singer Noll Billings, guitarist Jeff Coplan, bassist Rob Blackledge and Brad have visited our listeners several times over the years, even visiting with the kids at Dayton Children’s Hospital. So we’re all very familiar with each other.
After the show, we were posing for pictures at the meet and greet. Brad lifted his leg, I stuck my arm under it, he fell and smacked me in the mouth with his hand as he was going down. And plunk, out came my front tooth, intact. I picked it up and told the guys what happened, which they didn’t believe at first, til I grinned with a noticeable hole in my smile.
To be honest, it was a little funny to see the look of panic on their faces as they’re rushing for towels and ice. This particular tooth has been hit once before back in 2000 at a softball game. The trauma resulted in a root canal so with no live nerves or roots to speak of, it didn’t hurt much when it popped out, it was just…out. I didn’t get upset, knowing the tooth had been on borrowed time, but figured I’d try to get to a dentist ASAP.
So, around 7:30 p.m. in the pouring rain, my morning show partner Frye Guy is calling around to find an open dentist that had room for me. I made a call to my friend Kelly Pleiman who serves on the Women’s Board for Dayton Children’s with me. She knows everybody and asked her if she could get hold of fellow board member Jennifer Almoney, whose husband Bill is a dentist.
First thing Kelly asked me was if I’d been drinking, because, let’s face it, it would make a good story. But being a “school night” I hadn’t been. Within 10 minutes, Dr. Bill Almoney called and agreed to meet Frye and me at his practice in Kettering.
“My first thought when Kelly called was how quickly I could meet you at the office,” he said. “When a tooth is lost, it is important to put it back in place as soon as possible. The sooner the tooth is replaced, the better the chance for keeping the tooth.”
After massive amounts of Novocain, Dr. Almoney was able stick the tooth back in and bond it to the others. He said that, while this is the first tooth he’s fixed smacked out by a country singer, lost teeth happen about once a year.
“The strangest was having to put a tooth back in during a Little League baseball game when my son’s teammate lost his tooth on a fly ball,” he said. “We found the tooth, rinsed it off and put it back in within about five minutes. That was about six years ago and the patient still has his tooth.”
It’s going to be a wait and see game for me to find out if the tooth reattaches to the bone or not. If not, I might moonlight as a pirate.
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