Illustration of healthy teeth
Previous Next 1 of 7 Overview of root canal treatment

Root canal is a treatment to repair and save a badly damaged or infected tooth instead of removing it. The term "root canal" comes from cleaning of the canals inside a tooth's root. Decades ago, root canal treatments often were painful. With dental advances and local anesthetics, most people have little if any pain during a root canal. In fact, it's probably more painful living with a decayed tooth. Root canal alternatives include extracting the damaged tooth, no further treatment, or replacing the tooth with a dental implant, bridge or removable partial denture.

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