Root canals are definitely something to educate yourself on BEFORE getting one. In a root canal procedure, the tooth is diagnosed as having a dead root. Thus, the tooth is effectively dead. The tooth is drilled out in its center and filled with composite or other material to cover the hole. It is not a procedure to take lightly. What happens in the tooth is this: in a healthy tooth, there is a flow of fluid from the healthy tooth (called axoplasmic flow) from the center out. This flow in the healthy tooth actually pushes out bacteria toward the surface, so it keeps the center (the nerve) healthy. When a tooth has trauma this axoplasmic flow reverses. This makes the tooth basically self destruct over time. This is when you need a root canal.
But what if you could return that axoplasmic flow to normal? This can be accomplished in one of two ways that I know of. Osteopathic treatment of the tooth and surrounding tissue can remove the trauma and set the axoplasmic flow back to normal, as can ozone treatment of the tooth and surrounding tissue. I would highly recommend either or both before entertaining a root canal procedure. If done early enough, the tooth can make a full recovery.
When the dentist drills the tooth, the bacteria that inhabit the tooth (remember the axoplasmic flow is reversed it now draws in rather than pushing out) retreat down the hollow parts of the tooth (a tooth is similar to a honeycomb). They wait here until the procedure is over (the tooth is drilled and filled). When the tooth is filled, the bacteria have been sealed inside the tooth. These bacteria, which had been living in air (or partial air) convert from aerobic respiration (with air) to anaerobic respiration (without air) and in doing this, start to put out some really noxious chemicals as waste products. These toxins then flow from the tooth into the bloodstream. Each tooth sits on an acupuncture meridian. So, depending on the location, these toxins can cause, or contribute, to many chronic diseases, including cancers. This is the reason I do not recommend root canals.
Teeth that have had root canals can be tested for these bacterial infestations. If found, two options are available – extraction or ozone treatment. I would recommend beginning with ozone and leaving extraction as a last resort.
I hope this has shed some light on what your options are and why. If you have more questions, please contact me.