Dentists love root canals - they're the big ticket item that keeps their practices thriving. If you have a sore toe, they'll recommend a root canal.
But as others have said, they can have bad health consequences. When I've had abscesses or other problems where root canals were recommended as urgent and essential I've done these two things:
1) If there's pain, puss abscess or infection - put a clump of Bentonite clay between the cheeck and gum of the tooth in question. Keep this up until the pain goes away, swelling subsides etc. The clay will start to smell terrible as it draws out the infection from the gums. Put fresh clay every couple hours.
2) (As others have said) oil pull at least twice a day with your oil of choice plus a few drops of oregano oil (or as many as you can take without your mouth feeling like it's burning).
The last time this happened - I went another five years or so before it became a problem again. Instead of going for the recommended root canal, implant, etc - I just had them extract it.
I always wondered if I kept oil pulling daily as recommended if i would have had to lose the tooth at all.