Root canal treatment is necessary when the soft tissue inside your teeth becomes inflamed or diseased. This soft tissue, also known as the pulp, contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue. During a root canal treatment your dentist removes the diseased pulp. If the infected pulp is not removed, pain and swelling can result, and your entire tooth may have to be removed. Causes of an infected pulp could include: a deep cavity… repeated dental procedures…a cracked tooth…or injury to the tooth. After the root canal treatment, your restored tooth could last a lifetime. However, a tooth without its nerve can still develop cavities or gum disease, so regular check-ups are still necessary. Most of the time a root canal is a relatively simple procedure with little or no discomfort. Best of all, it can save your tooth and your smile.