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Biden got a root canal and it upended his schedule for the day (AUDIO)


WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden got a root canal Monday and it left something of a cavity in his daily schedule, forcing him to bow out of a public event with college athletes and postpone his meeting with NATO’s general secretary by a day.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre minimized the significance of the procedure at the Monday afternoon news briefing. She called it “routine” and said Biden is feeling “just fine.” She declined to say what caused Biden’s dental pain and led to the root canal.

“I am certainly not a dentist by any means,” Jean Pierre said. “As far as the health of the president’s teeth, I cannot speak to that.”

More than 15 million root canals are completed each year, according to the American Association of Endodontists.

Biden’s personal physician, Kevin O’Connor, said in a memo released by the White House that Biden reported the pain in his lower right premolar on Sunday. The president had an initial root canal that day, and he “tolerated the procedure well” with no complications, O’Connor said.

On Monday morning, Biden had “further discomfort” in his mouth, which O’Connor said was expected. An endodontal specialty team from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center completed Biden’s root canal at the White House.

The White House said Biden was not placed under anesthesia for the procedure, which meant there was no need to invoke the 25th Amendment and have Vice President Kamala Harris serve as acting president.

Biden had been scheduled to appear at College Athlete Day on the South Lawn at the White House, which welcomes NCAA champions from various men’s and women’s sports from the 2022-2023 season. Harris attended in Biden’s place.

The White House moved two other events that were on Biden’s schedule to Tuesday — a meeting with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and a reception for chiefs of mission at the White House.

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