A root canal is a very common procedure done at a dental office. It is usually needed when there is decay in the tooth that has either reached the nerve or close to it. Additionally, it is needed when there is an infection around the roots of a tooth. Sometimes the patient is in pain and sometimes not. Patients often get surprised if a dentist informs them that they need a root canal. That’s usually the case when there is no pain. It’s important to understand that the infection or decay needs to be treated even if it’s not painful. If left untreated, the tooth can become non-restorable in which case, there is no other option but to extract the tooth.