A root canal is the removal of damaged nerve tissue from inside a tooth. This is done by creating a small opening in the crown of the tooth and removing the bad tissue from the actual canals of the tooth. A special sealant is injected to prevent bacteria from reaching your bone, then the outside of the tooth is restored to allow for functionality and appearance. In some instances, resection of the root end (apex) to remove diseased soft tissue and bone around the root tip is necessary in conjunction with root canal therapy. This is called an apicoectomy. This procedure greatly increases the chances of saving teeth not salvageable by root canal alone. Under general anesthesia or with IV sedation, this procedure can be a comfortable, beneficial alternative to the extraction of a tooth.