Miniature workers drill a tooth.

A root canal is a tooth treatment that attempts to save a decayed or infected tooth. The nerve and pulp of the tooth is removed and the area is sealed to prevent an abscess. Your tooth or teeth may be damaged due to tooth injury or filling problems, or because of other things. Symptoms of problems that may require a root canal include severe toothache, swelling, discoloration, tooth sensitivity, and more. The procedure may be somewhat painful, and afterwards, the tooth may be sensitive for a while. Your dentist will explain how to care for your teeth following the procedure. Follow the links below to find WebMD’s comprehensive coverage about how a root canal is performed, what it looks like, how much it costs, recovery information, and much more.

In addition to an abscess, an infection in the root canal of a tooth can cause: