Does an already-dead tooth need a root canal?

So after getting a dental exam done for a job's medical clearance, the dentist informed me that I would need a root canal on one of my bottom righthand-side tooth. The dentist noted that tooth is likely "dead", and has been dead for 8-12 months already, given all the info he got from me. But I do not... show more So after getting a dental exam done for a job's medical clearance, the dentist informed me that I would need a root canal on one of my bottom righthand-side tooth. The dentist noted that tooth is likely "dead", and has been dead for 8-12 months already, given all the info he got from me.

But I do not feel any pain on that particular tooth, and I don't feel any sort of issue while eating or drinking around the area. So, do I really need a root canal to treat that tooth? As a student on a very basic dental insurance plan, I can't afford the root canal that this dentist is suggesting me to get (1650 for just one).
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