A root canal is necessary if decay leads to inflammation of the soft tissue deep within a tooth. This tissue is known as “pulp.” It houses blood vessels and nerves critical to early development of each tooth.
The pulp is no longer needed in a full-grown tooth, but it remains in place. If it becomes inflamed, it can be removed through a root canal. The procedure consists of drilling and removing the afflicted pulp.
After the pulp is removed, the tooth is sanitized before being sealed with a specialized rubber compound. A dental filling or crown is used to restore the tooth’s normal function.