I Might Need a Costly Dental Procedure. This Money Move Will Make the Expense Feels Less Daunting


I’ve had my fair share of dental concerns, so I know how stressful they can be. In addition to worrying about the procedure itself, it’s not unusual to worry about the financial impact of dental issues. Even if you have dental insurance, it only provides so much coverage. If you need an expensive procedure completed, you may have to fund most of the cost yourself.

I may need a costly dental procedure done in the coming weeks, and while I’m not excited about it, I’ve developed a plan to make paying for this expense less upsetting. The best part is I won’t have to touch my emergency savings. Here’s how I’m planning to pay for the procedure.

I may need a root canal — and they’re not cheap

Recently, I noticed sensitivity in one of my molars when I drank an icy beverage. Luckily, I’m experiencing no pain or other issues. My dentist told me I’d need to see a specialist.

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Unfortunately, the tooth having issues shares a root with its neighboring tooth. So, at this point, we can’t tell if it’s one of my teeth that I already had a root canal done years ago or if the neighboring tooth needs a root canal performed. I’m going to an endodontist for further testing, to find out what work needs to be done.

Root canals are costly. The cost can vary greatly depending on which tooth is affected, where you go for care, and the severity of the issue. You can expect to pay much more if you need a crown. According to GoodRx, root canal treatment for molars typically costs $1,300 to $1,600 without a crown. I expect a crown to cost well over $1,000 if I need one.

With this knowledge in mind, I expect to pay several thousand dollars if I need another root canal or retreatment for my earlier root canal. So, I’ll need to figure out how to pay for it.

Paying for my procedure

Luckily, I have time to devise a payment strategy since I’m not dealing with an emergency dental situation. While I have a sizable emergency fund, I’d feel more comfortable if I didn’t have to use my savings to pay for this procedure.

So I’ll be using a credit card. But not just any credit card.

If I used one of the credit cards already in my wallet, I’d be charged interest unless I paid the entire cost in full after receiving my credit card bill. But that’s a lot of money to pay all at once. That’s why I’m planning to open a 0% APR credit card. This will give me more time to pay off this expense without worrying about interest charges.

Here’s how a 0% APR credit card works

If you want to use a 0% APR credit card for a similar situation, review the offer terms before applying for a card. You want to ensure you know what to expect to avoid surprises.

These credit cards offer 0% APR for a set time. During the promotional period, you won’t be charged interest on your balance. Some credit cards offer 0% APR on purchases, while others offer 0% APR on eligible balance transfers. You want to choose the right card for your needs.

In my case, I’ll be getting a 0% APR credit card that offers no interest on new purchases. To avoid being charged interest, I plan to pay the entire expense before the promotional period ends. The card I’m considering provides 0% APR on purchases for 15 months.

I’ll divide the total procedure cost by 15 to determine how much I must pay monthly to eliminate the debt before the promotional period ends. If my total cost is $4,200, I’ll pay $280 monthly for 15 months. I plan to make extra payments occasionally to eliminate the debt faster. But this strategy will allow me to comfortably afford this procedure without draining my savings.

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