Some pained by Obama's root canal remark

Jan. 30, 2010 at 12:37 AM
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CHICAGO, Jan. 30 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama's reference to a root canal in his State of the Union address has some dental specialists who do root canals feeling some pain.

In the address, Obama commented that the bank bailout was "about as popular as a root canal."

"If there's one thing that has unified Democrats and Republicans, and everybody in between, it's that we all hated the bank bailout," Obama said. "I hated it. I hated it. You hated it."

The American Association of Endodontists, which represents root canal specialists, said Obama unintentionally reinforced a myth and outdated misconception about the "unpopular" nature of root canal procedures. The group said root canal procedures should not be feared and hopes the president and all Americans become better informed for the sake of their dental and total body health.

"While we certainly understand the president's intent, people need to know that root canals don't cause pain, they relieve it," Dr. Gerald N. Glickman, president of the American Association of Endodontists, said in a statement. "Root canals may sound daunting, but endodontists can do this procedure quickly, efficiently and with virtually no pain involved. The result is a restored natural tooth that can last a lifetime."

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