When a tooth becomes infected and dies, commonly forming a very painful dental abscess, then a root canal is required. This involves cleaning the inside of the root where the nerve lived, removing all necrotic tooth material and bacteria, until the canal is sterile. The canal is then filled with a rubber like material preventing re-infection.
Root canals are usually performed under a rubber dam which protects the patient and keeps the operating field dry and free from salvia and bacteria reducing the risk of re-contamination. As the root canal system is very small, sometimes less than the thickness of a hair we use magnification in the form of dental loupes or a microscope to aide access and visualization, all with the purpose of increasing post treatment success.