Root canal therapy is needed when the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay or infection. In order to save the tooth, the pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth), nerves, bacteria and any decay is removed and the resulting space filled with special medicated dental materials, which restores the tooth to its full function.
Having a root canal done is the treatment of choice to save a tooth that otherwise would die and have to be removed. Many patients believe that removing a tooth that has problems is the solution, but what is not realised is that extracting a tooth will ultimately be more costly and cause significant problems in the future for adjacent teeth. Most root canal treated teeth require a crown to hold the remaining tooth enamel together.