Root canal treatment is a way of saving a tooth that otherwise needs removal due to an abscess, small fracture, or deep tooth decay. A root canal involves removal of the nerve from the tooth and replacing it with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha. After root canal treatment is completed, a crown should be placed in order to give the tooth strength and prevent it from future breakage. Not all teeth can be saved by root canals. In many cases it is better to remove a failing tooth and replace it with an implant.