The Sideshow

Vengeful teeth-pulling dentist story deemed a hoax

Remember the tale of the jilted Polish dentist who pulled all the pearly whites from the mouth of her ex-boyfriend?

Turns out the story has no teeth.

The report that dentist  Anna Mackowiak removed all her ex-boyfriend's teeth after he came into her dental office complaining of a toothache turned out to be false.

[Related: Do clean teeth really protect against heart disease?]

The popular story, which included quotes from both parties and ended with statements that Mackowiak was being investigated and that the man had already lost his new girlfriend because of his toothless look, was picked up by Yahoo! News, MSNBC and dozens of other major U.S. media outlets.

[Related: Dentist fines patient for negative online review]

Kudos to MSNBC contributor Erin Tennant  for chipping away at the story and getting to the truth of the matter.

Here's what Tennant learned:

  • The Polish police agency in the region where the incident reportedly took place is not investigating any such case.
  • Poland's Chamber of Physicians and Dentists is not investigating any case like the one reported. Nor, is a dentist named Anna Maćkowiak listed on its professional register.
  • News outlets in Poland did not report the story. Some, however, reported the foreign media's coverage of what they called a "prank."
  • The original story was traced back to Britain's Daily Mail newspaper. The writer Simon Tomlinson,  says he does not know where the story originated, despite its bearing his byline. "I've drawn a bit of a blank," he told MSNBC.
  • American Dental Association's  national spokesperson, David Johnson Jr., said the story was highly improbable because most dentists are equipped to administer drugs only for conscious sedation dentistry. That would mean the man would've known all his teeth were being pulled as it was happening.

It looks like, in this case, the only thing pulled was our leg.

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