The value of sedation dentistry rests with its ability to create a pleasant, relaxed environment for patients. The cost of sedation dentistry is also much more manageable than you'd imagine for a few reasons.
The Cost of Sedation Dentistry
Sedation dentistry is the perfect option for anxious patients who want to make a trip to the dentist a less stressful experience. The really interesting thing about the practice is that the cost of sedation dentistry can be significantly less since dentists are able to complete more dental work while the patient's sedated.
Although costs for sedation dentistry can vary, the expenses are definitely reasonable for the vast majority of patients. Nitrous oxide sedation is an option available to many patients, and nitrous oxide sedation usually costs less than $100. Oral sedation costs slightly more and intravenous sedation is usually the best option for very anxious patients or more complex procedures (e.g., gum repair).
The cost of sedation dentistry is typically kept under $500 per hour, which is plenty of time for most dentists to complete their work. Yet the fact that a sedation dentist can complete more work in this timeframe could ultimately save you a lot of money compared to multiple dental visits. For patients who get anxious just thinking about the dentist's office, sedation dentistry's value is clear.
Types of Sedation Used
Now that we've touched on some of the costs associated with sedation dentistry, and its value for certain patients, what are some of the ins-and-outs of the practice?
Well, typically mildly anxious patients who come in for simple dental procedures like a checkup or cleaning only require nitrous oxide sedation to make it through the dental visit calm and relaxed. Nitrous oxide sedation is considered safe since nitrous oxide itself is simply a chemical compound of two elements - nitrogen and oxygen - and it's already been used for anesthetic purposes in millions of patients.
For slightly more complex procedures and/or for patients who would need just a tad more anxiety management, sedation dentists sometimes recommend oral sedation. Oral sedation simply entails the patient taking a prescription medication for more anxiety and pain control during your dental visit. Oral sedation might be used when a sedation dentist installs crowns, bridges or veneers for a patient looking to improve his or her smile.
Lastly, intravenous sedation (I.V. sedation) is usually used in cases of more serious dental procedures such as gum repair or having one's wisdom teeth removed. Typically, though, oral sedation is the option of choice for high-anxiety patients whereas intravenous sedation is reserved for oral surgery treatment centers, which offer a higher degree of oversight.
The True Value of Sedation Dentistry
Tens of millions of Americans skimp out on going to the dentist because of anxiety or a traumatic past experience. This means that millions of Americans are missing out on adequate dental hygiene and the potential to dramatically improve their smiles with implants and veneers. Fortunately, sedation dentistry can help just these kinds of people by offering them a tranquil and pain-free dental visit.
Millions have already found stress-relief in using what's now the most common form of sedation dentistry - oral sedation. The value of oral sedation rests in the fact that there aren't any needles involved and the patient remains conscious, yet pain-free, though the procedure. To sum up the benefits of sedation dentistry, patients often note:
- A more tranquil environment
- Greater comfort and less stress
- A pain-free dental visit
- Potentially fewer appointments
The procedure is kept pain-free since a local anesthetic is typically used in conjunction with oral sedation to ensure a tranquil dental visit. Although there are many oral sedation medications suitable for patients, a sedation dentist will usually prescribe the type and dosage most suitable for the procedure and health of that particular patient.
For helping patients overcome their anxiety and make their scheduled appointments, sedation dentistry offers millions of patients around the country hope - that's the true value of sedation dentistry. Patients undergoing a screening or dental treatment while sedated often note how quickly the visit seemed to go by and how stress-free the experience seemed to them. Could sedation dentistry be right for you?