Root canals treat diseases or abscessed teeth. Once a tooth is injured, cracked or decayed, it is necessary to open the tooth and clean out the infected tissue in the center. This space is then filled and the opening sealed. Keeping your tooth helps to prevent your other teeth from drifting out of line and causing jaw problems. Saving a natural tooth avoids having to replace it with an artificial tooth. Talk to your dentist or endodontist about any concerns or questions you may have.