Before getting a root canal...
I'd read this book that explains a lot of pros & cons. It is a continuation of Weston A Price's research. Root Canal Cover Up ~ George E. Meinig
I currently just refused a root canal because a hurriedly diagnosed root canal that may or may not have nerve damage. My two front teeth had a traumatic blow in a fall a month ago, but a week after it happened, my dentist threw the 'drill, fill, & bill' diagnosis at me. I have been doing research on the matter & got a second opinion from another dentist. The receptionist, whispered, "Yes, I would give it a little longer to wait & see if they might make it."
If I had an infection, I would treat it with the common herb found everywhere. Plantain, washed and the liquid released by crushing, is used for a poultice that makes for a terrific & immediate astringent that will suck poison out of most any bite, sting or infection. I am now putting peppermint oil for circulation stimulation on my gums, front & back, and colloidal silver. I am also packing on some powdered barley green for healing.
Mostly not everyone's choice of a way to go, but definitely beats an iffy root canal that most people lose the tooth anyway within 20 years due to hidden bacterial infections. An excellent book for herbal remedies is Practical Herbalism by Philip Fritchey.