I approach dental offices with much trepidation. Things never go quite right. With a serious face an assistant informs, “Ms. So-and-So, you need a root canal.”
Ah, how much?
Only about $400. Since you’re without insurance, we can put you on a payment plan.
Bright Crest white strip smile.
Are there other fees?
Oh, Ms. So-and-So, of course not!
Are you sure?
Absolutely. There are no hidden costs whatsoever.
Well, I guess a payment plan is okay, but payments must fall within my budget.
Of course, Ms. So-and-So. We want everyone to leave our office with the brightest smile. We’ll make your appointment and you can take these antibiotics before you come back next week.
Next week: Okay, Ms. So-and-So, your root canal is all done. That wasn’t so bad, was it?
Of course, you will need a temporary filling until you can afford your crown.
Temporary filling? Crown? Spitting cotton.
Oh, gracious, breathe into this brown bag and you’ll soon stop hyperventilating.
Every root canal has to have a filling. Many prefer a temporary before they purchase their crown.
Only about $125, and we do accept cash. Of course, the temporary filling only lasts about three months, during which time you can save up for your gold crown.
A small shrug.
With the unrest in Liberia, the civil disobedience in Russia and the hurricanes in the Atlantic, gold has simply skyrocketed. But, we have implemented cost effective measures, so your crown should only cost $550 - $600.
I thought you told me there were no other charges!
Oh, Ms. So-and-So! Let’s continue to breathe into this nice brown bag. And you are quite right. There are no other charges for the root canal, none whatsoever.
What do you call the filling and crown charges?
Trill. Oh, you’re so funny. Those are different charges. They’re incurred after the root canal and not a part of the initial procedure.
Sigh. Will I be able to add those charges to my payment plan?
Pout. I’m so sorry, Ms. So-and-So, your plan is maxed out. But, we happily accept cash, Visa, cash, Master Card, cash, American Express, cash, and Discover . . . and of course, cash.
Of course. What happens if I don’t get a crown?
Hands to face. You don’t want to even think that. Why your root canal will be useless. Your tooth will decay and break off. An oral surgeon would have to remove the . . . remains. It will sets you back about $400, plus a small $50 consultation fee.
Faintly: I see.
That’s right, breathe – in and out, in and out. You’re doing so much better. You can see that it would be much better to pay us your cash now while you can still save your tooth.
Like I said, we do understand financial considerations, so we make your payment options easy. Bright smile. Thrusts hand out. I’ll be happy to take your cash now!