Each tooth has canal/s inside the root/s. When tooth decay (bacteria) is left untreated for a prolonged period of time, it will find its way into the canal/s resulting in pain, infection, abscess or swelling. Root canal treatment involves removing all infected pulp after removing decaying sections of the tooth. The empty root canal/s will then be cleaned and shaped to ensure the remaining bacteria are removed. Subsequently the canal/s will be filled and sealed and the tooth will be restored. The dentist may recommend a crown after root canal treatment if the tooth structure has been weakened or compromised. This procedure can take several appointments. Teeth can look and function normally without pulp (nerves, blood vessels), so root canals can be an effective way to save your tooth and avoid needing more costly treatment such as tooth replacement.