The inside of each tooth is filled with “pulp”, which carries the tooth’s blood supply and nerves. If bacteria gain access to the pulp, through a fracture or deep cavity, the pulp may become infected, leading to pain and a risk of tooth loss. If left untreated an infection can turn into an abscess, which is a much more serious problem that includes bone loss in the jaw. In a root canal, your dentist will remove the infected pulp and replace it with a rubber sealant. The tooth is then covered with a protective crown, which reinforces the tooth against future fractures and enhances the tooth’s appearance. Root canals have a high success rate in saving teeth that would otherwise be lost to infection.