What it is. The treatment of diseased dental pulp tissue inside the tooth that includes the removal of inflamed or infected pulp, cleaning of the root canal, and filling and sealing of the space. A crown or other restoration of the tooth completes the process.

When and why it's needed. When the pulp inside the root canal of the tooth becomes inflamed or infected, endodontic treatment is necessary. Causes of inflammation or infection include a crack or chip in the tooth, deep decay, injury to a tooth, or a loose or cracked filling.