Natural teeth are meant to last a lifetime. Even if one of your teeth becomes injured or decayed, it can often be saved by performing a root canal.
A root canal usually involves the removal of the tooth's pulp, a small thread-like tissue that was important for tooth development. Once removed, it is replaced with materials that seal off the root canal from its surrounding tissues.
A root canal does have it's advantages over simply removing the diseased tooth. When a tooth is removed an not replaced, the adjacent teeth may begin to shift from their normal position. This may cause the teeth to become crooked or crowded, which decreases biting and chewing efficiency. Crowded or crooked teeth may be more prone to gum dissease because they are harder to keep clean than properly aligned teeth. A replacement tooth (an implant or bridge) is usually more expensive and can involve more extensive dental procedures on adjacent teeth. A natural tooth is normally better than an artificial tooth.