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What Can I Do If a Root Canal Filling Fell Out?

I had a root canal in March 2023. Within six months, I lost my job and dental insurance. I had not been to a dentist since that time. I now have dental insurance, so last week, I went for an exam and to get a consultation for teeth whitening. The dentist told me that the temporary cap is coming off the tooth, and the root canal filling is coming out. The metal post in my tooth is showing. I need to get it replaced before I get my teeth whitened. I was not planning on this type of expense right away. I am still catching up on bills. I just wanted to make my smile look good and feel a little better about myself. Is this something that must be fixed now, or can I find someone else to do the whitening? Thanks. Tracie


You need a dentist to replace the filling material. We understand that your financial situation has not improved enough for major dental work, but if the dentist you saw is not willing to do it inexpensively, you can find one who will do it. 

Root Canal Filling Material

Root canal filling material replaces the tooth pulp that a dentist cleans out of an infected tooth. But the filling material must be protected to prevent saliva and fluid from leaking in and reinfecting the tooth. A reinfected tooth needs repeat root canal treatment to save it.

Protecting the filling material – After root canal treatment, a dentist can protect the filling material in several ways:

  • Insert a metal post in the tooth and fill the tooth with a bonding material. 
  • Place a temporary crown over the tooth
  • Place a permanent crown over the tooth

Although a filling over the tooth can last several years, eventually, you will need a dental crown.

When Root Canal Filling Comes Off

When root canal filling comes off, you must have a dentist replace it right away. It is the only way to save the tooth and prevent repeat root canal treatment.

Your oral health is the priority – Although we understand that you want to improve your smile with teeth whitening, any conscientious dentist will recommend stabilizing your oral health first. Bleaching treatment can irritate unhealthy teeth. A bright smile with a tooth that is in jeopardy of falling out is not a healthy smile. Please make oral health your priority and get teeth whitening afterward.


Rocky Hill, CT, dentist Dr. Thaddeus Michalski sponsors this post.

Is Zirconia Crown Dust from Bite Adjustments Causing My Hives?

My dentist is ruining my zirconia crowns while trying to correct my occlusion. He has ground down all ten new crowns. After multiple adjustments, my lips and gums broke out in hives. Is the debris from shaving my crowns irritating my mouth? I got the crowns last August, but my bite is still off. If I am experiencing sensitivity from the crowns, I dread the thought that I will need to start all over with new crowns. Could the zirconia power be causing a reaction? – Thanks. Crandall from MO



Grinding down tough new zirconia crowns is challenging and can cause discomfort while sitting in a dental chair.

Can Zirconia Crown Dust Cause a Reaction?

Two dental crowns for molar teethAlthough you could have a reaction to zirconia dust from your dentist grinding on the crowns, the particles would clear your system and the reaction should resolve. Although we have no confirmed cases of reactions to zirconia, it is not impossible that some people are sensitive to it. However, if you have a zirconia sensitivity, you would have experienced it before your dentist’s attempts to adjust your bite.

The hives you describe seem to be a reaction to stressful dental experiences. Stressful events, including stressful dental experiences, can trigger burning mouth syndrome.

Get a Second Opinion for Your Bite Adjustment

When your bite is off with dental crowns and your dentist cannot adjust it, your jaw muscles spasm. You can develop earaches, headaches, neck pain, or other symptoms related to TMJ disorder. We recommend getting a second opinion and an exam from a dentist with post-graduate occlusion and bite training.  This advanced training is not taught in the standard dental curriculum.

Look for a dentist with training for one of these institutes:

  • The L.D. Pankey Institute in Florida
  • The Dawson Academy in Florida
  • Spear Education in Arizona
  • The Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies in Nevada


Once your bite is harmonious, the related discomfort will improve. The irritating hives may diminish with less stress during dental appointments. Meanwhile, if you feel anxious about additional dental procedures, you can ask your new dentist about sedation options.

Dr. Thaddeus Michalski, a Rocky Hill, Connecticut dentist sponsors this post.