Dentists performing procedures to remove damaged or diseased tissue attempt to limit the amount of healthy tooth removed, and focus on procedures that will conserve the teeth when it is a viable option. Extractions may be considered if a patient’s tooth is too badly damaged to save. During a procedure like a filling or a more invasive root canal, the dentist carefully removes infected, dead, and damaged material while leaving healthy material behind. Once the dentist has cleaned the tooth thoroughly, filling can be added to preserve the integrity and prevent a recurrence by sealing the opening. This tooth restoration process can take varying lengths of time, depending on the extent of the damage and the number of teeth involved. At the end, the patient retains the majority of the intact tooth.