Biden gets root canal, postpones NATO meeting, other events

Biden gets root canal, postpones NATO meeting, other events. AFP/File

President Joe Biden underwent a root canal procedure on Monday, leading to the postponement of several scheduled events, including a meeting with the NATO secretary general. 

The dental procedure took place on a premolar tooth in his lower right jaw. While the White House downplayed the significance of the procedure, the president’s age and health scrutiny added attention to the situation.

The dental issue began with tooth pain on Sunday, prompting an examination by a medical team from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center that was sent to the White House. The team determined that a root canal was necessary and performed the initial procedure. However, on Monday, the president experienced further discomfort, leading to the decision to complete the root canal.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre assured the public that the root canal was a routine procedure, emphasising that millions of Americans go through similar treatments. She clarified that only a local anesthetic was used, eliminating the need for invoking the 25th Amendment and temporarily transferring presidential powers to Vice President Kamala Harris.

While the dental intervention disrupted the president’s schedule, the root canal itself was considered unplanned, causing the postponement of high-level meetings and the cancellation of an event with college athletes. The White House rescheduled the meeting with the NATO secretary general and a reception for chiefs of mission to the following day.

President Biden’s personal physician, Kevin C. O’Connor, observed that the president tolerated the procedure well without any complications. The root canal was performed by a specialised endodontal team. The president’s health status following the procedure was described as satisfactory.

The incident served as a reminder of how medical issues can unexpectedly interrupt the administration’s activities. However, the press secretary stressed that there was no cause for concern and that the president was in good health overall.

The root canal procedure received widespread attention, with millions of similar procedures performed each year. President Biden’s dental pain and subsequent treatment highlighted the vulnerability of individuals, regardless of their position, to routine health issues.

The dental episode added a brief interruption to President Biden’s schedule, but the rescheduled events proceeded as planned the following day.

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