Root canal is a procedure that is accomplished on a tooth that has been infected by oral bacteria or the nerve of the tooth has undergone necrosis and died. This can happen from decay, trauma, excessive biting forces (clenching and grinding) or after recent dental procedures. The procedure involves removing decay, accessing the nerve chamber and canals, and removing the dying or dead nerve tissue. The canals are disinfected and then filled with a bio-compatible material that promotes healing and eliminates pain. Root canals are extremely effective with a 95% success rate after 5 years. In most cases the tooth needs a filling and crown to restore the tooth to proper function and aesthetics. The only alternative to root canals is to extract the tooth and replace the tooth with a bridge, dental implant, or removeable partial denture.