A root canal is used to clean, reshape and disinfect a tooth following an infection associated with a tooth. If an infection penetrates the nerve or the inside of the tooth, a root canal or endodontic procedure will be completed. Files are used to remove the nerve and blood vessel from the tooth. The inside of the tooth is rinsed, disinfected, dried and then sealed with cement and a plastic-type filling known as guttapercha.The procedure can be completed in one or more appointments at the doctor’s discretion. A crown is recommeded following a root canal because the tooth is weakened by the procedure. A crown will protect the tooth from a non-restoreable fracture. The alternate choice for a tooth requiring a root canal is extraction or removal of the tooth. This is sometimes recommeded if the tooth’s prognosis is very poor.