A root canal is performed when the nerve of a tooth becomes abscessed or infected, it allows the infection to be removed while letting you keep the tooth. By keeping the tooth we can prevent the remaining teeth from drifting out of line and causing jaw problems. Saving your natural tooth is always the preferred treatment as opposed to replacing a missing tooth with an artificial alternative.
A root canal is completed under local anesthetic. A rubber dam is placed on the tooth in order to keep the area isolated from contaminated saliva. The dentist then makes an opening to access the damaged tooth nerve. After cleaning out the canals of the tooth, the hole is filled and sealed to prevent future infections. The final step is to place either a temporary or permanent filling over the opening to allow the tooth to heal.