This dental procedure can relieve pain and save the natural tooth. Root canal treatment is needed when the blood or nerve supply of the tooth (the ‘pulp’) is infected through decay or an injury. There may not be any pain during the early stages of infection and the tooth may darken in colour, which could mean that the nerve of the tooth is dying, or has died. If left untreated, an abscess is likely to develop. The aim of the treatment is remove all infection from the root canal, prevent further infection and to drain any abscesses. The root canal is cleaned, shaped and a temporary filling is inserted into the tooth and left to settle. At a follow up visit, the tooth is checked and when all infection has cleared, the tooth is permanently filled.