Sedation dentistry offers the opportunity to many patients with dental phobia or certain medical or mental conditions to get the dental care they need. But the additional cost of dental sedation may be an obstacle for many people who would like to take advantage of the painless and comfortable treatments that sedation dentistry can offer.
There are several types of dental sedation, so the prices are different depending on the specific type that the patient has chosen, ranging from under a hundred dollars to over a thousand. Light to moderate conscious sedation dentistry will generally cost much less than IV sedation or general anesthesia. Sleep dentistry techniques that include deep unconscious sedation and general anesthesia are the most expensive methods, but they are used for a limited number of cases such as extensive oral surgery or treating special needs patients.
Below are some price ranges of what you might expect to pay depending on the type of treatment received:
Light sedation using nitrous oxide (laughing gas) is often the most inexpensive form of sedation and is usually under $100 per visit and it may be offered for free from some dentists as a complimentary service to their patients.
The average cost for oral conscious sedation can vary from $200 to over $400. It includes the use of oral sedatives either alone or in combination with nitrous oxide.
Intravenous sedation average cost is about $500, but it can range from $250 to $800. Dentists must meet certain dental board requirements in order to practice iv sedation dentistry.
General Anesthesia may be delivered by only a small number dentist who meet strict dental board requirements and/or a dental anesthesiologist. These fees are usually billed hourly, and thus the cost depends on the duration of the treatment. The average cost of general dental anesthesia is about $700, ranging from $300 for short treatments to over $1000 for more complex and lengthy procedures.
The cost of sedation dentistry will vary depending on a variety of factors, including geographic location, sedation dentist’s experience, training and accreditations. As with any other goods, sedation prices are impacted by the local cost of living and doing business, with fees being higher in big cities like New York City and lower in rural towns.
You should also remember that the cost of dental sedation is extra and it is not included in the cost of the actual dental treatment.
Not any dentist can provide sedation dentistry. Local regulations vary but in general there are very strict regulations regarding the dentist’s training, continuing education and necessary equipment. While a licensed dentist may be allowed to use nitrous oxide without additional training (if he has already received the relevant training in dental school), in order to offer iv sedation a dentist must attend additional (and expensive) courses to get the required permit. IV sedation dentists must also complete certain hours of related continuing education each year to maintain their permit, which increases the cost for offering sedation dentistry. To offer the option of general anesthesia in his dental office, a sedation dentist must either receive further education, or invite a dental anesthesiologist to provide the service.
The sedation dentist office must also have additional equipment not only for the administration of the dental sedation but also for monitoring the patient during the procedure for safety reasons. The required equipment is more expensive depending on how advanced type of sedation is offered, with deep sedation to have the highest requirements.
Sedation dentistry is not a standard dental procedure. A sedation dentist may be required to pay higher malpractice insurance than a general dentist not offering dental sedation.
Inhalation sedation, also known as laughing gas or nitrous oxide, delivers the lowest level of sedation and usually the lowest cost. IV sedation and unconscious dental sedation require a great deal more training, insurance fees and equipment which results in higher associated costs for sedation dentistry offered to the patient.