When a tooth is damaged (sometimes by a large hole or trauma to the tooth), it is possible that the nerve is irreparably damaged and your dentist may suggest that a root canal is needed. Although it sounds daunting, root canals are often the best way of keeping your tooth. The tooth will be numbed with local anaesthetic, the nerve will be removed and over a few appointments (often one to three) your tooth will be cleaned and shaped to remove all bacteria and infection. It will then be filled with a special root filling material. Different teeth have different numbers of roots, so they have different numbers of canals (big, molar teeth have the most). After your root canal has been completed, a filling will be placed, but ideally a crown will be recommended. This protects the treated tooth in the best possible way, ensuring your tooth survives in your mouth for as long as possible.