Root canal therapy ("Endodontics") is a dental procedure that involves making an opening in the chewing surface of a tooth and removing the infected pulp tissue within that tooth. To be successful, it requires the precise cleaning, disinfecting and shaping of this tissue in the affected tooth and the space (the root canal) in which this tissue resides. Once this is accomplished, the root canal is tightly sealed so that no bacteria can enter and re-infect the tooth. After the space is cleaned and shaped, the endodontist fills the root canals with a biocompatible material, usually a rubber-like material called “gutta-percha. ” The gutta-percha is placed with an adhesive cement to ensure complete sealing of the root canals. In most cases, a temporary filling is placed to close the opening. The temporary filling will be removed by your dentist before the tooth is restored. After the final visit with your endodontist, you must return to your dentist to have a crown or other restoration placed on the tooth to protect and restore it to full function.