Root canal therapy (RCT) and endodontics are the terms that describe the procedure that treats the nerve of the tooth. Endodontics is a specialty of dentistry that deals specifically with the tooth pulp ( the substance in the center of a tooth that consists of nerve, blood vessels & connective tissue) and tissues surrounding the root of the tooth. Root canal therapy can save the root and crown of the tooth in order to maintain its proper spacing and function in the mouth. RCT is the removal of the nerve and blood vessels from the canals within the tooth, and replacing them with a biocompatible sealer and rubber material called gutta percha. Although the tooth is no longer viable (alive), it still functions in the mastication (chewing) of food just like a live (viable) tooth.
Root canaled teeth will likely need a crown to protect the tooth from fracturing in the future. The full coverage crown can consist of either a full metal crown, partial metal or all-ceramic (no metal) crown.