Root canal, or endodontic therapy is performed to save a tooth when its soft inner tissue called the pulp, becomes infected or damaged.
Therapy consists of opening the tooth, removing the diseased or dead pulp tissue, cleaning, sterilizing, filling and then sealing the root canals. The treatment is comfortable and entirely pain free.
The tooth remains very much alive after endodontic therapy because its living root surfaces are nourished by the adjacent tissues of the gums and jaw. Only the interior of the tooth loses living tissue with root canal treatment.
Saving a tooth this way is better for your health than extraction and is less costly than replacing the missing tooth.