Teeth are composed of two main parts and three layers. The top of the tooth or the crown is the part that’s visible above the gums, and the root canals anchor teeth into the jaw. The outer layer of the tooth is called enamel. Beneath the tooth enamel, there is a supportive structure called dentin, and in the center of the tooth is a soft substance, pulp, that houses the nerve system of the tooth. The very inner pulp layer of tooth roots is called the root canal, and it allows the tooth’s nerve to connect with the rest of the body. When damage or decay accesses the nerve system housed within this pulp, we may say a patient needs a root canal or root canal therapy. This procedure calls for the removal of the damaged pulp and nerve tissue. The tooth is then refilled with a similar substance. Finally, any access points where the pulp was extracted are resealed, and we will often place a dental crown over the treated tooth for added strength. If you have a severe toothache, sensitivity to temperature changes, dark spots on teeth, or infection in the gums, you may be in need of a root canal to preserve your tooth.