The “canal” in a tooth is a channel through which blood vessels and nerves travel to supply nerves and blood to a tooth. A tooth is a living structure, which is why it can cause you to feel pain, and bleed. When your dentist diagnoses an infection that necessitates a root canal, that means that the infection cannot be cured, and the only way to prevent the loss of he whole tooth is to remove the pulp, nerves, and blood vessels inside the tooth that are infected and leave only the hard shell. A root canal can save the tooth and eliminate the pain, though due to decay from the preceding infection, it is sometime necessary to place a crown on a tooth that has had a root canal. Each tooth root may have 1-2 canals, so a tooth with 3 roots can have up to 6 canals! If you find yourself needing a root canal, or want a second opinion after another dentist has told you that you need a root canal, call us at Tarpon River Dental.