Endodontics is the procedure which removes the nerve from a tooth. The nerve of the tooth is removed when it becomes infected and dies. When the nerve dies, usually from decay or trauma, an infected area known as an abscess can form. This abscess can become very painful and even has the ability to spread more infection throughout the body. To remedy this problem, the source of the infection is removed, which is the dead nerve. With better, more effective anesthetics, root canals can be performed totally pain-free. On more complex cases, a patient may be referred to a root canal specialist (endodontist).