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Dentistry/chip of temporary came off


After a root canal treatment several years ago, my dentist put on a temporary crown last week. The same day I came home, a piece chipped off, the piece seemed like some sort of plastic or glue. It came off the upper part of the tooth and you can see an indentation of where it was supposed to be on the gum. I tried putting temporary cement there but it doesn't hold as it's the upper part of the gum (the tooth is on the top jaw) and would have to attach to the gum rather than the tooth, so it comes off and won't stick. Will I be OK until my next appointment next week? The area doesn't really hurt, it's sort of sensitive and "pinches a bit" every now and then. I have no problem tolerating this until next week's appointment. The dentist also prescribed me antibiotics but I had the stomach flu and was unable to take them because I was vomiting for 3 days straight and couldn't bear taking them.I am still recovering from this and taking probiotics and don't want to mess my stomach more. What do I need to watch for? Since it was root canal tooth it shouldn't get infected right? I would have no problem going back to the dentist, but he's 3 hours away and I can't ask off from work at this time. thank you for your time!

Thank you for your question.
As I state with every answer, my response is based totally on your history without the benefit of a clinical or radiographic examination.
In general, once a root canal is completed it should be restored immediately. This will prevent fractures and or leakage which will cause a lack of healing and potentially a failure in root canal treatment.Thus your delay for several years in obtaining a permanent restoration may mean your previous root canal treatment is not healed. This can lead to radiographic evidence of bone loss or untoward clinical signs and symptoms ( swelling, fistula, pain, tenderness, fracture etc.)
Thus, when you tell me your dentist has given you antibiotics, I am concerned there is a potential problem with the previous root canal
treatment.Did your dentist observe bone loss on the xray? Did you have any history of symptoms before the temporary crown  was placed?
My suggestion is return to your dentist immediately and have the temporary crown replaced or repaired. If the previous root canal is healed, and the seal has not been compromised due to leakage you can proceed with restorative care.
If for any reason there may be a lack of healing such as radiographic appearance of a problem you should seek a consult with an endodontist ( specialist in root canals). If your dentist does not have an endodontist they
work with, you can access the website to locate one near you. If you live close to a dental school they would have faculty in endodontics that could exam you or refer you to a colleague.
The American Association of Endodontists have specific guidelines for prescribing antibiotics.
Based on your history, without proper clinical examination, I can't really know if you meet the guidelines for use.
Good luck with your treatment.  


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robert block


I would prefer to answer questions related in my specialty of Endodontics( ROOT CANAL THERAPY) I am a Board Certified Endodontist with a special interest in advanced surgical endodontic procedures. I know root canals create a lot of apprehension in patients, and they usually have many questions about the procedure. I can address patient concerns either before or after their root canal treatment. I also have re-treated numerous patients who have had previous endodontic treatment. As a result of these clinical failures,and the increase in the use of dental implants, its important patients understand the alternatives of therapy. There are often many components to treatment that interrelate the disciplines of endodontics, periodontics and restorative dentistry.Patients frequently question the importance of considering all facets in a clinical regimen. Hopefully, I would be able to educate and contribute some information from the endodontic perspective.


Diplomate American Board of Endodontics, 35 years plus private practice experience. Formerly Professor and Chairman, Department of Endodontics at US dental school. Editorial journal reviewer for the endodontic section of The Journal of American Dental Association. Serve as a reviewer on several editorial boards.

American Association of Endodontists, College of Diplomates, American Board of Endodontics

Over 150 publications, abstracts, case reports, chapters in textbooks. J. Dental Research, J. of Endodontics, J. of Oral Surgery Oral Medicine Oral Pathology,The NEXTDDS J.For example: The Single File Approach for Predictable Endodontic Canal Instrumentation:The Wave One, THE NEXTDDS J. 4-2:13-17 Fall 2014 Non Surgical Management of an Endodontic Failure Utilizing Contemporary Technology, www.THENEXTDDS 5-1:60-63 Spring 2015 Are You Still Using Formocresol? An Update, Tn. Dent. J. 89-4:14-19 Fall 2009 Management of Endodontic Failures, Oral Surg.vol.66:711-Dec.1988

BA. DePauw University, DDS. University of Michigan, MS. Medical College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Gen. Practice Resident, University of Connecticut, Endodontic Resident Medical College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University

Awards and Honors
Numerous Awards and Honors, Edward P. Hatton Award( Int. Assoc. of Dental Research), Endodontic Memorial Research Award ( American Association of Endodontics) Outstanding Endodontic Department Teaching Award (given by dental students)Fellow American Academy of Dental Science

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