On Friday, October 27, just before I was to head east for the Mont Pelerin Society meetings in Bretton Woods, I woke with the toothache from hell. I arranged an emergency appointment with my dentist. She prescribed an antibiotic, recommended an OTC pain pill, and had her assistant line up an appointment with her favored endodontist. It all worked. I had a successful trip with minimal pain and got back last Thursday.

On Friday, the endodontist’s assistant called to find out what kind of dental insurance I had. The bottom line: none.

So when I showed up for my appointment on Monday of this week, I told the assistant that in light of the fact that I didn’t have insurance, I wondered if the doctor would give me a senior discount. She said she would ask. When I left my consultation appointment, she told me that I would get a 10% discount off the $242 that I had been quoted and a 10% discount off the much larger $1725 for the root canal.

I once negotiated a discount with a doctor who had already done my daughter’s tonsillectomy.

You don’t always get discounts but it usually pays to ask.