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Root canal therapy is most likely needed when the nerve of the tooth is affected by decay or infection. In order to save the tooth, the pulp (which is composed of nerves and blood vessels) nerves, bacteria, and any decay are removed and the resulting space is filled with medicated, dental material, which restore the tooth to its function. Having a root canal done on a tooth is the treatment of choice to save a tooth that otherwise would die and have to be removed. Many patients believe that removing a tooth that has problems is the solution, but extracting (pulling) a tooth will ultimately be more costly and cause significant problems for adjacent teeth.