Sometimes a nerve in a tooth becomes damaged by trauma or tooth decay. Root Canal Treatment or Endodontic therapy or root canal therapy is a sequence of treatment that offers an alternative to tooth extraction. In this procedure the nerve or dental pulp of the tooth is removed. This is done over several appointments and a temporary filling is used between these appointments to protect the tooth.
Root canal procedure: unhealthy or injured tooth, subsequent creation of an access cavity with a dental handpiece, cleaning & shaping the root canals with an endodontic file, and restoration with gutta-percha filling and a crown. Image from Wikipedia.
Xray of a Root Canal Operation Image from Wikipedia.