Although teeth hard on the outside, in the middle of the tooth and its roots is the pulp (or nerve). Once this becomes infected or irritated, a root canal may be necessary.
The Doctor will remove the affected pulp or nerve by going through the top of the tooth and using specialized instruments to clean the entire pulp out of the tooth and its roots. The Doctor will then fill and seal the roots. Root canals are usually not painful and only take a little longer than a filling.