A root canal is a procedure used to repair infected teeth and prevent the need for extraction. The treatment involves removing compromised pulp from the tooth and cleaning out the hollow chambers within, known as the canals. Once this is complete a filling or crown is placed on site to provide protection and restore complete tooth functionality. There are several key symptoms that indicate the need for a root canal. These include face and neck swelling, tooth darkening, gum swelling and lingering sensitivity. Failing to address these symptoms can cause your infection to spread and lead to further complications like tooth abscess, pulp death and eventual tooth loss.