If an infection has reached the pulp of a tooth or if it is affected by severe trauma, a root canal may be needed. The pulp is the living tissue inside of a tooth. In order to save the tooth and restore dental health, the pulp, bacteria, nerves and any decay must be removed. The result space is then filled with medicated material. This restores the tooth to its full function, and saved the tooth from dying. It can also prevent more costly problems down the line.