Root canal therapy is a dental procedure performed to remove infected nerve tissue and bacteria from inside a tooth. When the nerve tissue of a tooth becomes inflamed or infected, it can cause a great deal of pain and lead to an abscess in the tooth. By removing the nerve in the tooth, the source of pain and infection is eliminated and allows the patient to keep his or her tooth.
The most common causes for an infected tooth are deep decay (cavities), deep fillings, or a crack in the tooth.
A root canal usually takes 1-2 visits to complete depending on how infected the tooth is as well as how many canals the nerve splits into. The more roots a tooth has, the more canals there are.