A root canal is one of the most common dental procedures performed. This simple treatment can save your natural teeth and prevent the need for dentures, implants or bridges. At the center of your tooth is pulp. Pulp is a collection of blood vessels that helps to build the surrounding tooth. Infection of the pulp can be caused by trauma to the tooth, deep decay, or cracks. Symptoms of the infection may include visible swelling or fistula, throbbing pain, or pressure sensitivity.