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Mark Bornfeld, DDS
Mark Bornfeld, DDS, Dentist
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 5735
Experience:  Clinical instructor, NYU College of Dentistry; 37 years private practice experience in general dentistry, member Academy of General Dentistry, ADA
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I had a partial root canal done a month ago. They put in a

Customer Question

I had a partial root canal done a month ago. They put in a mummification agent into the root, sealed it with a temporary filling. The temporary filling just broke, along with part of my tooth. The earliest my dentist can see me is Monday but I now have a terrible chemical taste in my mouth. It's really bad and I'm fairly certain it's whatever they put in to kill the root. Is this safe? Can this make me sick?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dental
Expert:  Mark Bornfeld, DDS replied 1 year ago.

A reliable answer would (of course) depend on the specifics of your situation. For example, many unknown variables enter into the picture:

1. what mummification agent was used?

2. how much of that agent remains?

3. what is your health status, and your intrinsic ability to tolerate any toxic effects or your ability to eliminate the toxic agent?

None of these factors can be known with certainty. However, it can be said that almost any mummification agent is toxic to some degree, because it acts by causing the denaturation of proteins, and this chemical effect on proteins is inherently toxic-- after all, the body's structure and function is entirely reliant on proteins. Most mummification agents are some combination of organic phenolic compounds, and they may even contain formaldehyde, which is a known carcinogen.

Having said that, the principle that always applies is that toxicity can only manifest if the dose of the toxin is above some threshold amount, and it would be nearly impossible for the amount of mummification agent to approach this toxic threshold. Granted, there may be some adverse effects which are not dose-dependent, such as allergy, which may be a consideration. However, at the very most, the leaching of a mummification agent from a tooth might cause some irritation in the soft tissues in direct contact with it, and would not be expected to have significant systemic effect.

So, you can almost certainly wait until Monday without incurring any real health risk-- assuming you can tolerate the taste. You might try frequent rinsing to dissipate the smell and taste in the meantime.

Hope this helps...