Effect of Electricity on Tooth Extraction

A little over a month ago, a patient called at my surgery to have two lower teeth extracted. The teeth were the lower left first and second molars. They were very carious, but did not look difficult to extract, nor was there any inflammation or suppuration present. I used a local anaesthetic and proceeded to extract. To my amazement I broke the crown off the second molar a quarter down the roots, and with great difficulty and after removing part of the outer alveolus, I eventually extracted the roots. I then proceeded to extract the first molar, and exactly the same thing happened. I dismissed the affair as of no particular significance.
Last week, however, I again had a patient call for two lower molar extractions, this time lower right second and third molars. Again the teeth did not look difficult to extract, but exactly the same thing happened. I asked this patient what his occupation was, and he said he was an electricity switchboard operator in a large steel works. I then wrote to the first patient and asked what his occupation was, and was very surprised to discover that he also was a switchboard operator in a municipal electricity supply station. Does constant contact with electricity alter the formation of the bone or the tooth? Both men were normal in size, and there were no physical signs that the teeth would be so difficult to extract, nor were the roots in any way abnormal.—Thomas Rankin in Dental Gazette (London).