Cosmetic Dentistry Blog Cosmetic and General Dentistry Questions Answered

January 24, 2018

The filling in my root canal tooth came out

Filed under: Root canals — Tags: , , , , — mesasmiles @ 6:10 pm

We thank our advertisers who help fund this site.

Dr. Hall,
So it might sound a little crazy, but I had a root canal done a few years ago. Since then I haven’t been to the dentist, and can’t currently go due to financial problems and no health insurance. Since it’s been so long the cap or synthetic tooth, has fallen out and is now revealing a metal rod. The rod seems to be moving back and forth. What would be my best option? Can I remove the metal rod myself? Should I just leave it till it falls off or till I can get to a dentist?
Heather from Pennsylvania

Heather,
You really need to go to a dentist for a simple replacement of the temporary filling material. And knowing that your finances are strained, you may be able to talk some compassionate dentist into doing this very cheaply or even for nothing at all. Goodness, a dental assistant could do this for you—just get some Cavit and plug it into the hole. Otherwise, you’re going to lose this tooth. Cavit is a simple temporary filling material that comes out of the tube as a paste but when placed in a moist environment like your mouth it hardens. Since it requires no mixing or tray of tools, it can be placed in a few seconds.

When a tooth has a root canal treatment, the root canal filling material then needs to be protected against the oral fluids. Otherwise, saliva will seep down and loosen that root canal filling, which allows the tooth to become re-infected. This causes failure of the root canal treatment. The tooth would then need a new root canal filling in order to save it. So the dentist will put in a temporary filling and then plan when to finish the treatment of the tooth, probably protecting it with a crown.

When I was in practice, knowing that some patients could get into your situation and not come back for the crown, I would fill the tooth with a bonded core material, often using a metal post. If they didn’t get back right away, this would hold up for several years. Maybe something like that has been done in your situation. If the metal post is still present, hopefully there is still time to save the root canal treatment, but the hole needs to be sealed.
– Dr. Hall

Do you have a comment or a question or anything else to add? We’d love to hear from you. Enter your comment below.

Click here to ask Dr. Hall a question of your own.

About David A. Hall

Dr. David Hall was one of the first 40 accredited cosmetic dentists in the world. He practiced cosmetic dentistry in Iowa, and in 1990 earned his accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He is now president of Infinity Dental Web, a company in Mesa, Arizona that does complete Internet marketing for dentists.

August 21, 2015

What is this amalgam glass ionomer filling I got?

Dr. Hall,

A substantial amount of tooth structure was removed during the procedure of 3 fillings in my molars. Those teeth were not painful, so I do not understand why it was necessary. The edge of one tooth was removed with the filling overflowing on that part to replace it. A little bit disintegrated, thus a bit of gum is exposed. Food gets stuck there fairly easily.
I am curious as to what type of filling material was used. I think it might be amalgam glass ionomer. It is a lighter colour than traditional amalgam fillings, and different in texture.
Also, how long should those fillings approximately last before they need to be replaced? I am only 20 years old, so I don’t know how what options I have to make those teeth more functional and aesthetically pleasing. I am distraught.

– anonrocker in the U.K.

Dear anonrocker,

I can only guess at the type of fillings you got. It would help to know on what basis you are saying these were amalgam glass ionomers. Kind of sounds like they told you something about it for you to use this term “glass ionomer.” And you don’t say what was different about the texture.
I’ll take your word that it was indeed a glass ionomer restorative and guess from there. There is a product called Miracle Mix that is a glass ionomer mixed with a silver alloy, so it has a grayish color to it. It is used usually as a buildup material for a large cavity when the tooth needs a crown, and the crown is then done over this restorative. I also used it as temporary fillings when a person had a lot of decay that needed to be arrested quickly and economically. Then we would either go back and drill off the surface of the Miracle Mix and do a composite filling on top of it, or we would do a crown over it.
Miracle Mix comes packaged in little capsules similar to the way amalgam is packaged, and it mixes in an amalgamator, also the same as amalgam. It is very quick and easy to use (i.e. cheap). There is no mercury in it
A nice feature of this restorative is that it has a high fluoride release, so it resists any recurrent decay on the tooth. Another nice feature is that it has a moderate chemical bond to tooth structure, so the tooth is unlikely to break around it. A not-so-nice feature is that it isn’t very wear resistant. It has kind of a gritty texture to the surface, and it will both wear off and dissolve over time, so that it will likely last only 2-3 years.
The good news is that your teeth are probably just fine for right now, except for the place where the food gets stuck. That should really be fixed because it will promote decay and gum disease in that spot. The bad news is that you’re going to have to have all these fillings fixed later. You shouldn’t need to have the fillings replaced–just re-surfaced with something more wear resistant. Go back to the dentist and ask if this was indeed Miracle Mix or some other similar glass ionomer restorative, and then go from there.
About the amount of drilling. While it could be that the dentist drilled away too much, a tooth with a large cavity can easily be asymptomatic. In fact they usually don’t hurt. So it’s also entirely possible that the dentist didn’t drill away too much.
If you want quality dental care in the UK, my advice would be to get away from the government program. It’s nice that so many people are getting dental care. But there is little incentive in your government-covered dental care for excellence in treatment–all the incentive is to run the patients through and take care of what they need in the easiest, quickest way possible.

– Dr. Hall

Click here to ask Dr. Hall a question of your own.

We thank our advertisers who help fund this site.
.

About David A. Hall

Dr. David Hall was one of the first 40 accredited cosmetic dentists in the world. He practiced cosmetic dentistry in Iowa, and in 1990 earned his accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He is now president of Infinity Dental Web, a company in Mesa, Arizona that does complete Internet marketing for dentists.

Powered by WordPress

Follow this blog

Get every new post delivered right to your inbox.


Categories