Root canal treatment usually involves the removal of the tooth's pulp, a soft tissue inside the tooth that contains blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue. Once removed, it is replaced with material that seals off the root canal from the surrounding tissues. Even if the pulp in one of your teeth becomes injured or infected, the tooth often can be saved through root canal (endodontic) treatment. When the pulp is injured or infected and unable to repair itself, it loses its vitality. The most common causes of pulp death are a cracked tooth, a deep cavity, complications involving large dental restorations or traumatic injury to the tooth, all of which can allow bacteria to enter into the pulp . Treatment involves one or more visits. There are several steps in the process of endodontic treatment that your general dentist will perform to save your tooth. A tooth with a root canal filling can provide years of service similar to adjacent teeth that have not been treated. Oral hygiene and regular dental exams will help you keep and maintain healthy teeth, whether or not they are endodontically treated.