A root canal, technically known as an endodontic treatment, is a dental procedure that eradicates pain and discomfort associated with the nerve tissue, pulp, in the root. To relieve the symptoms, the infected pulp must be removed from the root of the tooth via a canal drilled by the dentist, hence the term root canal. Extremely fine drills, about an inch long, are drilled through the biting surface of the tooth. This process will expose the pulp thus making it possible for its removal. After the pulp is removed, the root canal is medicated to prevent further infection of the tooth. Once the root is out, and the tooth has been sterilized, the tooth is technically dead. An empty canal of the root is filled with a medicated sealant, or cement. In some cases, the dentist will insert a post (metal pin) to help fortify the tooth. The opening of the canal is filled to prevent further contamination, and from debris entering the canal.