A root canal is a treatment dentists use to address an infected tooth. This happens when decay and bacteria spread for too long without treatment. At a certain point, this decay makes it to the pulp inside the tooth. This pulp includes nerves, so infection there generally causes a lot of pain. Since this is happening on the inside of the tooth, you won’t necessarily see the damage. Instead, you could feel it through pain and notice other signs that include bleeding, swelling and bad breath.
A root canal is actually a great treatment that can handle the infection and help you keep your tooth. Without catching the problem soon enough or if you avoid dental care due to fear of a root canal, you could end up losing the tooth and/or having a broader infection throughout your mouth. These problems would actually result in more extensive treatment than a root canal!