The Filling Over my Root Canal Fell Out!


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


Hi Barney,

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.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix affordable dentist, Dr. Hillary Peck.

Should I Get Lumineers?


I’m writing to you because I have several chipped teeth I’d like to take care of.  They were covered with bonding material, but over the years it has worn down. I’m interested in a more permanent solution, such as  porcelain veneers to cover my teeth. I’m not sure about what type of porcelain veneer to get, and am interested in Lumineers because of their convenience. How should I go about finding a dentist to do my veneers? Do I need to go to a dentist especially for Lumineers?

Thank you,
Emi, Boston, Massachusetts

Hi Emi,

Thank you for your question. Lumineers are made from cerinate porcelain and are thinner than regular veneers. They can be bonded with no tooth preparation (roughing the tooth’s surface) so there is less discomfort and fewer visits required.

However, not every dentist is skilled at placing Lumineers. You should look for someone who has experience and education directly related to Lumineers. Pushing a dentist outside their comfort zone will not give you a good result.

Secondly, check the smile gallery of your prospective dentist. Make sure they have samples of Lumineers for you to see. Since Lumineers are placed over your existing tooth, they can appear bulky or thicker than natural teeth.

Still, finding a cosmetic dentist comfortable with placing Lumineers is the key to getting the best result with Lumineers. For example, at Dr. Hillary Peck’s Phoenix office, she will consult with patients to see if they are a good candidate for Lumineers. If Lumineers are not the best fit for you esthetically, a different brand of porcelain veneer will be suggested. A good cosmetic dentist will consider the patient’s smile design goals and esthetic concerns and not shoehorn in a one-size-fits-all solution. A cosmetic dentist will know whether Lumineers are the best solution for you.

I hope this helps. Good luck in your search. In your area, you should be able to find a good cosmetic dentist to help you.

This blog post is brought to you by Phoenix cosmetic dentist, Dr Hillary Peck, of Peck Family Dentistry.