If someone is going to undergo a major dental/medical procedure ($40k+), is there any way to deduct the money paid for the procedure, or at least part of it?
If medical, not cosmetic, you can deduct medical expenses to the extent they exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income.
Note: it's been announced that starting in 2013 the deduction is for amounts exceeding 10% of AGI.
Does your company offer a Medical Savings Account? That can allow you to reduce your taxable income. You normally have to join during "open season".
Another option is Medical and Dental Expenses above 7.5% of your adjusted gross income. This is a high hurdle to meet, and only reduces your taxes by the tax rate x the amount your bills exceed 7.5%