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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+
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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 HealthBoards.com[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 TheWealthyDentist.com[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.
Discounts:
  • Self-hypnosis techniques[6] before an appointment may help calm dental anxieties.
Shopping for sedation dentistry:
  • DentalFearCentral.org 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] .
  • DentalFearCentral.org 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.
 
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External Resources:
  1.  www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/n/nitrous-oxide.aspx
  2.  www.healthboards.com/boards/dental-health/352638-cost-nitrous-oxide.html
  3.  www.thewealthydentist.com/blog/4343/average-sedation-dentistry-cost-charged-by-dentists/
  4.  www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/a/anesthesia-and-sedation.aspx
  5.  www.tropicaldentist.com/sedation.htm
  6.  www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=52509
  7.  www.dentalfearcentral.org/forum/
  8.  www.dentalfearcentral.org/fears/
  9.  www.dentalfearcentral.org/help/sedation-dentistry/
  10.  www.mouthhealthy.org/en/find-a-dentist.aspx
  11.  crowncouncil.com/why-visit-a-sedation-dentist/how-to-choose-a-sedation-dentist
  12.  www.asdahq.org/findamember.aspx?state=ca
  13.  www.dentalfearcentral.org/help/find-a-dentist/
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