Root canal therapy is the standard treatment for a tooth that has been compromised by injury or decay. By removing the soft pulp from inside a tooth a root canal preserves the tooth against infection and prevents it from being lost.
If a tooth is severely damaged or if decay reaches deep enough into the tooth, the pulp, the bundle of blood vessels, nerves and soft tissue inside the tooth, can become exposed to infection. If the pulp becomes infected an abscess can form around the root of the tooth and the tooth could be lost. In such cases it’s necessary to surgically remove the pulp.