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Four Reasons Dental Sedation's Cost is Worthwhile

Posted by Dr. Mark Mann

Dec 9, 2015 2:00:00 PM

Dental sedation is becoming increasingly popular among patients because of its affordability, convenience and other benefits.

dental sedation 13059681_sYou're able to fit in more dental work when you're consciously sedated; and, if you tend to be nervous or fidgety in the dentist's chair, then talking with a sedation dentist about an oral sedative beforehand might be a good option.

Affordability of Dental Sedation

A lot of patients tense up when they first hear about sedation - a mental picture of an IV sometimes comes to mind - yet the most popular form of dental sedation is actually oral sedatives taken in advance of the dental visit.


Nitrous oxide is another very popular option, and this kind of sedation allows sedation dentists the chance to work with you, provide more sedation if necessary, and make your visit as comfortable as possible.

  • 4 Reasons Dental Sedation's Cost is Worthwhile

Reason #1: More Affordable than You Think

In terms of cost, nitrous oxide sedation is slightly cheaper than oral sedation. Nitrous oxide is typically well under $100 per dental visit and it can make the visit overall more relaxing and pain-free.

Nitrous oxide conscious sedation is safe for the majority of patients, although you should sit down and have a consultation with your dentist beforehand to discuss your options. Dentists like working with nitrous oxide sedation before it keeps the patient conscious yet relaxed; the effects of nitrous oxide sedation also wear off relatively quickly.

Remember that, if you decide to go with nitrous oxide sedation for your procedure, you can talk with your dentist in real-time in order to get the level of sedation just right given the anxiety relief and pain management you might need that particular day.

Reason #2: May be Covered By Insurance

Some, but not all, insurance companies will cover dental sedation's costs. Even if your insurance company won't cover the entire cost of conscious sedation during your next dental visit, the overall cost of conscious sedation is usually much more affordable than traditional IV sedation in a hospital setting.


The most requested kind of conscious sedation used in sedation dentistry is oral sedation. An oral sedatives such as triazalom, lorazepam, or diazepam will typically be provided to the patient the day before the procedure, then the patient can take one of these oral sedatives an hour or half hour before the dental visit itself.

Oral sedatives are especially useful for patients looking to combat their anxiety about an upcoming dental visit.

The important thing to remember, though, is that oral sedatives are used more for their ability to put the patient in a relaxed state. That is, oral sedatives are usually not used in the same way as localized anesthetic are in sedation dentistry

You can think of an oral sedative providing anxiety relief before and during the procedure and a localized anesthetic as providing pain relief during the dental procedure.

Reason #3: Allows More Dental Work in Less Time

Sedation dentists are able to accomplish much more work in less time when their patients are in a relaxed, comfortable state.

The kind of mild sedation that we're talking about is known as anxiolysis, such as the light sedation brought on by inhaling nitrous oxide in a controlled setting at the dentist's.

For more intensive procedures like implant-supported fixed bridges that could require multiple dental visits, sedation can allow patients to save both time and money.

How? Although implants are typically installed with only a localized anesthetic like Novocaine and perhaps an oral sedative or nitrous oxide, some patients might want deeper forms of sedation so that the dentist can complete more of his work in one sitting, so to speak.

Some dentists even have an hourly rate for sedation; where this is the case, you can squeeze in more than one dental procedure that would normally be spaced out over many sessions. The end result: you save time, money and the hassle of shuttling back and forth to the dentist's!


Reason #4: An Ounce of Prevention Goes a Long Way

The secret to dental health is making your annual dental checkup and practicing sound oral hygiene on your own on a daily basis. Making your dental visit, though, can be a challenge if you're like one of the 30-40 million Americans struggling with a dental phobia or if you get jittery about upcoming visits.


Getting an oral hygiene screening that includes a dental radiograph and cavity screening can even save you money over the long haul since you can sidestep problems before they materialize. So, the question becomes: how much is your future worth?

Topics: sedation in dentistry

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