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

Posted by AllSmiles

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.