Teams - and teeth - get knocked out of the NHL playoffs

May 4, 2015
Laura Dorr
Issue 5

It’s peak season for dental practices in eight cities, as the Stanley Cup playoffs continue in a quest for more dental casualties.

It’s peak season for dental practices in eight cities, as the Stanley Cup playoffs continue in a quest for more dental casualties.

As dentists watch and cringe, NHL action routinely causes players to suffer unexpected tooth removal. Hockey sticks, collisions and the ever-so-fun face-to-the-boards experience claim toothy victims regularly. However, one player this year took matters into his own hands (literally) when his tooth was loosened after a crushing blow from Chicago Blackhawks defender Brent Seabrook.

Ryan Reaves of the St. Louis Blues returned to the bench after his collision, fiddled in his mouth for a moment, and calmly removed his tooth. He then handed it to a rather surprised trainer for safekeeping. Reaves returned to the game, which the Blues won, 2-1. (Sadly, the Blues were later knocked out of the playoffs by the Minnesota Wild, but the end of the season leaves Reaves with free time to pursue some more traditional dental care.)

More unlicensed dentistry: Office manager arrested after posing as dentist, performing root canals

Check out Reaves’ self tooth removal here:

More weird news: The 7 strangest dental stories of 2014

But Reaves isn’t the only player in need of a dental intervention this year. In January, Minnesota’s Zach Parise also lost a tooth (thanks to a puck to the mouth), and February saw Chicago Blackhawks’ Kris Versteeg take a stick to the chompers, causing him to lose part of a tooth. 

Reaves also isn’t the only player spending time playing dentist: Searching YouTube for “hockey players pulling out teeth” brings up more videos than we can count.

Lesson to be learned? NHL dentists have amazing job security, as there’s never a lack of need (except if the resourceful Reaves and his comrades in home dentistry have anything to say about it!). Read about some of the most ridiculous (and gruesome) things that these rinkside dentists have observed in this awesome "Day in the Life" piece from Bleacher Report.