The cost of one regular dentist appointment.
Growing up, we learned from our parents, our teachers, and the Berenstain Bears that we should go to the dentist twice a year, brush twice a day and floss once a day.
As obliging students, we happily went along to the bi-yearly appointments that someone else set up for us, lied about our flossing habits, and freed our orthodonisized pearly whites of lingering plaque.
Our teeth were sparkling. A+ for dental care!
Then ... came ... graduation.
With graduation came different freedom. Freedom from school. Freedom to explore the world. Freedom from our parent's dental plans.
Suddenly, the $200 was coming out of our own pockets.
$200 buys a plane ticket to a friend's bachelorette party. Sorry dentist, I'll have to miss you this one time.
$200 covers the cost of the aforementioned friend's bridesmaid's gown. Sorry dentist, turns out I won't be seeing you at all this year.
$200 secures a moving truck for a first big post-college move. Sorry dentist, but I'm in a different state now.
$200 pays for my totally unwarranted speeding ticket through Winchester, VA on the way home for Thanksgiving. Sorry dentist, I'm basically broke, and well, dental student clinics are kind of creepy. I value my teeth too much to trust them in my mouth.
$200 purchases Christmas presents for the whole family this year. Sorry dentist, but I just care so much more for my family than for myself.
$200 is enough to bring home that on-sale Pottery Barn rug that I've been obsessed with for months now. Sorry dentist, but I really love this rug. Paying for teeth is boring. Paying for rugs is fun.
$200 is 10 family dinners at our favorite pizza restaurant. Sorry dentist, but we need to invest this time in our kids and our marriage. Do you want us to become a statistic? Also, let's be honest. I've survived this long without you. What's six more months?
You get the picture. Seven years of dental distance pass ...
$200? Oh ha, that's the cost of the consultation where the dentist tells me that I have to have a root canal.
$1300. That's the cost of the root canal without the crown.
$1000. That's the cost of the crown. Well, it's the anticipated cost if my gum bone isn't too low requiring further mouth bone surgery. In which case, who knows?
x2. This is the math that one should do once they add up the above three numbers and multiply it by two, just in case a person without dental insurance actually requires two root canals.
Why, you may ask, am I sharing such personal financial information on my blog? Because I don't want you to make the same mistake!
Go to the dentist.
Brush your teeth.
(Acquiring dental insurance isn't a bad idea either, though it usually won't cover everything).
Lesson Learned: Mother, Teacher, and Sister Bear were right all along!