I had a root canal done back when I had dental insurance. Now, I don’t have insurance anymore and the filling covering the gap the root canal left behind has fallen out. Since I lack the funds to see a dentist, I’d usually let it slide, but I’m worried. There’s a metal rod that’s been exposed, and what’s worse, it’s loose – I can wiggle it with my tongue. Is there anything I can do on my own, or is seeing a dentist my only solution? I need an affordable solution.
Barney, Poughkeepsie, NY
I’m sorry to hear about your situation. Root canal treatments can fail if they are not protected from saliva in the mouth. Loosening the protective filling can cause another infection, which means another root canal is needed, or else you will lose the tooth.
I’d recommend you go see a dentist that caters to your needs. If you explain your situation, they should be able to fix this for low cost (or if you’re lucky, no cost.) There are two different solutions I would recommend: The first is quick and easy, and can be done using Cavit (a paste that comes in a tube, and hardens when exposed to moisture – such as in the mouth).
A more permanent but still affordable solution would be to create a filling around a metal post using a bonded core material. In your case, if you can not afford to come back for a crown, this filling would last for several years. Once you have dental insurance again, or are in a more-secure financial state, you can complete the next step of treatment – a new root canal topped with the porcelain crown you need.
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