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A root canal is a dental procedure that is used to remove infected or damaged tissue from inside a tooth. It is typically recommended when the pulp, or living tissue inside the tooth, becomes infected or damaged and cannot be repaired. The pulp contains nerves, blood vessels, and other tissues that help to keep the tooth alive, but it is not essential for the tooth to function once it has fully erupted from the gums.

The root canal procedure involves making an opening in the top of the tooth and removing the infected or damaged tissue. The inside of the tooth is then cleaned and shaped, and a filling material is used to seal the opening. In some cases, a crown may also be placed over the tooth to provide additional protection and support.

Root canals are often recommended as an alternative to extracting a tooth, as they can help to preserve the natural tooth and prevent the need for a bridge or implant. However, they may require multiple visits to the dentist.

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