Do you need to have an endodontist (specialist) to perform a root canal? The answer is no. When the nerve that is at the center of each tooth is damaged by either dental decay or trauma, a procedure called a root canal becomes necessary in order to save the tooth. Very fine surgical instruments are used to clean the canals down to the tip of the root. Filling material is then placed to create a complete seal. After a root canal procedure, a crown is usually required in order to strengthen the damaged tooth.