A root canal is recommended when decay, injury or repeated dental work causes a tooth's pulp to become infected or inflamed. The procedure is performed by a specialist called an endodontist. In most cases, patients report that the root canal is carried out with little or no associated pain, according to the American Association of Endodontists.
The procedure is accomplished by removing the inflamed or infected pulp, which consists of nerve tissue, blood vessels and other cellular content, cleaning, decontaminating and shaping the canal, then filling the canal with a kind of inert filling, such as gutta-percha and cement. After the procedure, the patient will return to their dentist for a crown or related restorative work. Afterward, the tooth will continue to function normally.