Couldn't I just have my tooth removed instead of having a root canal?
You could, but then adjoining teeth may shift and interfere with biting and chewing if you remove the tooth and fail to replace it. You may also consider placing an implant or fill in a missing space with a "dummy tooth" as part of a fixed ro removable bridge. A fixed bridge may require removing adjacent, healthy tooth structure, and may be expensive and require even more dental treatment. If you can save your own tooth with any degree of long term predictability, then that would always be the first choice.