Washington DC - (Novocaine Mess): American Dentists Association members have welcomed George W Bush's call to lift a 27 year moratorium on offshore drilling.
"The ban was always a crude amalgam of punitive laws to curtail freetrade cavity practices," an ADA source told reporters today.
Draconian restrictions were imposed in 1981 after maveric orthodontists tried to set up tax-dodging offshore platforms to deal with a rampant gingivitis pandemic.
Early cavity-cure operations proved immensely successful as disgruntled US patients flocked to drill-and-fill ships moored off the waters of Tampa, Florida where crowns, bridge-work and veneers cost a tenth of their inland equivalent.
Then in 1981 Vice President George H Bush declared the move an opportunist scam that was blighting coastal views.
Hundreds of floating dental surgeries were closed down and their operating platforms scuttled.
This week rocketing dental novocaine prices have prompted a change of heart at the White House.
"We blame Colombian FARC rebels for the crisis," a White House source moaned today.