Search thousands of topics on

BROWSE ALL TOPICS >> appliances babies & children  cars  consumer electronics health & personal care home & garden personal finance  pets  schools small business weddings
CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > Dentistry & Orthodontics > Sedation Dentistry

Sedation Dentistry Cost

How Much Does Sedation Dentistry Cost?

low costLaughing Gas: $25-$100average costPills: $150-$500+high costPills: $150-$500+
post E-mail post Post  

Sedation dentistry uses medication to relax patients who are anxious about or fearful of dental work. Because the patient is typically not aware of the passage of time, sedation may eliminate the need for multiple appointments.

Typical costs:

  • Inhalation sedation -- usually using nitrous oxide[1] , known as laughing gas -- produces a light sedation and can cost $25-$100 or more, depending on location, amount administered and the dentist; and may vary significantly by region, or even by area within the same city. For example, on[2] , patients report fees of $70 and $75.
  • Light oral sedation can cost $150-$500 or more, depending on the type of medication (brand name or generic), the amount of sedatives needed, location and the individual dentist. This is typically a pill with brand names such as Valium, Versed or Halcion that is taken before the appointment. Oral sedation can be used alone or in combination with nitrous oxide to produce light to moderate sedation.
  • Sometimes called "sleep dentistry", IV dental sedation provides moderate to deep sedation, and can cost $250-$900 or more but is typically $500-$700, depending on the dentist, length of the appointment and location. Dentists must meet specific board requirements to do IV sedation. A survey by[3] reports an average cost of $482 for IV sedation.
  • General anesthesia can cost $300-$1,000 or more and averages about $600-$700, depending on the complexity of dental procedure.Typically it is done by a dental anesthesiologist and only for surgical procedures.
  • Fees for sedation are almost always in addition to the cost of the procedures being done, such as a filling ($50-$450+) or crown ($500-$3,000+). However, some dentists include relaxation sedation at no extra charge when performing extensive cosmetic dental work (typically with total costs of $20,000-$40,000 or more).
  • Although dental insurance may cover the dental procedure being done (i.e., a filling a cavity or extracting a tooth) plus any medically-required sedation, it typically does not cover the cost of sedation to relax an anxious patient.
What should be included:
  • Several factors influence which sedation method should be used, including the patient's overall health, allergies and anxiety levels. The American Dental Association provides an overview[4] .
  • Patients who receive any type of sedation before or during a dental appointment will need to have someone drive them to and from the appointment. Sedation effects typically wear off in a few hours.
  • Sedatives relieve anxiety but do not block pain, so a local anesthetic like Novocain will be used, if needed. Patients are typically calm and relaxed during the dental procedures, but still able to respond to requests to move and other cues from the dentist. Rich Friedrichs DDS in Tomball, TX explains what to expect[5] during a sedation dentistry appointment.
  • Self-hypnosis techniques[6] before an appointment may help calm dental anxieties.
Shopping for sedation dentistry:
  • provides a dental phobia support forum[7] ; lists common dental fears[8] and how to deal with them; and gives an overview of dental sedation[9] including when it can be useful and when it might not be a good option.
  • Not all dentists offer sedation dentistry. Although the American Dental Association has a find a dentist[10] search tool, it doesn't indicate which ones offer sedation techniques. It is possible to search directly for a sedation dentist through the Crown Council[11] , an association of independent dental practices. If general anesthesia is needed, searcher for members of the American Society of Dentist Anesthesiologists[12] .
  • gives step-by-step instructions[13] to help fearful patients find the "right" dentist.
Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician or pharmacist regarding medications or medical procedures.
post E-mail post Post  
CostHelper News

No Discount Card? Don't Forget Jenny's Number
Standing in line to pay for groceries in an unfamiliar grocery store, you realize they have discount card savings programs. You don't have a card. || Posted September 19 2013

Forgotten Expenses In a Home Addition Budget
Items like construction costs, permit fees or debris removal aren't the only expenses to consider when calculating the total costs of a home remodeling project. || Posted August 5 2013

‣ All CostHelper Blog Posts

What People Are Paying - Recent Comments


Comment On Your Experience With Sedation Dentistry
Subject:  *
Amount Spent:  *
Sedation Method: Dental Procedure: 
Purchased:  Year: 
City:  * State:  *
Information about you:
Email:  * Email addresses are not displayed.
Name:  This is the name we'll display with your post.
me on this computer
*=required field.

External Resources:
More Health & Personal Care Topics
Check Out All Costs for Health & Personal Care How Much Does an Emergency Room Visit Cost? How Much Does an X-Ray Cost? How Much Do Body Piercings Cost?

Search Thousands of Topics on


Today's Featured Cost Articles

About CostHelper
CostHelper is based in Silicon Valley and provides consumers with unbiased price information about thousands of goods and services. Our writers are experienced journalists who adhere to our strict editorial ethics policy.

CostHelper Community
Angiogram of heart
Paid: 55150.00
Had this procedure done to check heart due to abnormal stress test. Did not need any stents or any other procedure as everything was negative... [more]
-Pamela Garrett
Angiogram Cost
HELP: asbestos in furance - many questions
Paid: 0.00
I am renting out my home in Grand Rapids, MI and have received a notice from the city that the home must be inspected... [more]
Asbestos Removal Cost
Paid: 45.00
The clamp was annoying so it took away concentration of the tiny sting of the needle. I had just turned 15 at the the time and I've had it for almost a year and it has healed fast and never given me any trouble... [more]
Body Piercings Cost
2 half shafts replaced
Paid: 140.00
Bought the axles myself on ebay for 40 each, then had a mobile mechanic come to my house to do the work. It is not a hard job, but has a couple tricky parts for a subaru. Easier for a honda or toyota... [more]
-Subbie Giy
Replacing a CV Boot Cost
Even with insurance looking at going broke
Paid: 55000.00
Recently on a camping vacation my 11 year old became very sick. Took him to the closest hospital. Found out he is type 1 diabetic. Was very sick and had to be flown from Rock Springs WY, to Salt Lake City, UT. 185 mile on the ground... [more]
-Broke and confused.
Air Ambulance Cost
United Locksmith
Paid: 200.00
DO NOT CALL THESE PEOPLE!!!I lock my keys in my truck and called these guys. They told me 19 bucks for calling and 35 for a lockout... [more]
-Man in Distress
Locksmith Cost