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A Root Canal is a treatment that is performed in an effort to save a badly damaged or infected tooth instead of removing it. The procedure involves removing the damaged area of the tooth (the pulp), cleaning and disinfecting it, then filling and sealing it to prevent further infection. Common causes affecting the pulp are a cracked tooth, a deep cavity, repeated dental treatment to the tooth or trauma such as an accident, fall or sports injury that damages the blood supply to the nerve. When a tooth has an infected nerve, there are only two options - root canal treatment or extraction.
Most people think of root canal treatments as very painful. With advances in dental technology and local anesthetics, most people have little or no pain with a root canal today.