I had similar with # 14 in Jan 2006, for which root canal and crown was recommended.
Understanding that root canal removes the contents of the tooth, packs it with allegedly inert material, and leaves the dentin tubules, whose combined length stretches a distance of 400,000 miles, as loci in which focal infections that can have long-term detriments to health, including heart disease, rheumatism, etc. (based on the writings of George Meinig, DDS, an original founder of the American Endodontists Association, writing thirty years later in "The root canal Cover Up"....
I decided that in Nature, God, etc. must have provided recourse for teeth that go astray, and did not design the human organism not so poorly that an issue concerning one tooth kills the entire organism,
and realizing that most "americans" diets are severely deficient in necessary nutrients whilst simultaneously provided with a myriad of toxins,
I endeavored to "treat" myself, using the good foods provided by Nature. X-rays taken 12/10/08 showed no abnormality in bone, where previously dark spots at the roots were visible.
"Nutrition and Physicial Degeneration", by Weston Price, DDS, is a must read for anyone desirous of maintaining personal control over their health, including dental health. The competency of any dentist not intimately familiar with this seminal work authored 70 years ago should be questioned.
Fact is, most americans are sick, largely because of hexafluorosilicate anion's presence in the water, which is a systemic enzyme poison - different from mere fluoride ion, whose effect is topical. Thats the tip of the iceberg.
maybe my tooth is dead, but its tubules aren't completely cut off from the body's blood supply as they would have been had I had it packed, meaning phagocytes and other good guys can still access it, as Nature intended in the event of irreversible pulp degradation, if that has occurred.
Dentists who believe that nerves do not regenerate, are not up to snuff on the latest - nerves do regenerate, I have proof of that both in the literature, and in my mouth. Grinding out the nerve in a root canal procedure guarantees that the nerve will not regenerate, at least within the normal lifetime, and especially on the "american" diet. The lack of neurogenesis, stems from a lithium deficiency, inter alia.