It’s estimated that between 30 and 40 million Americans have some level of dental anxiety, a fear of dentists that stands between them and getting the care they deserve. Whether you’ve had bad experiences, heard horror stories, or have just been put off by the portrayal of dentists in the media, sedation dentistry can help to put you at ease before a necessary treatment.
That said, this presents yet another problem for some people: the cost of sedation. If you want to learn a little more about how much feeling at ease is likely to cost you, here’s a guide that may be able to help you.
How Much Will Sedation Dentistry Cost?
Dentists treat all kinds of patients with varying levels of anxiety, so they have a wide array of sedation options available to help them. The cost of these drugs will depend on how strong you need them to be. Weaker sedatives cost around $200-300, while stronger sedatives are charged by the hour, usually around $500/hr or more.
What About Insurance?
For the most part, insurance companies don’t consider sedation dentistry essential, so they’re unlikely to pay for much of it. If you want nitrous oxide or oral sedation for a restorative treatment, you’re probably going to have to pay for that out of pocket.
However, an exception may be made if the patient can demonstrate that sedation is absolutely necessary to get care, as with some mentally disabled patients. General anesthesia is also usually covered at a much higher rate, because if a dentist is recommending that you be put under for treatment, it may be medically necessary to do so.
Types of Sedation
With that in mind, it’s worth briefly running through the types of sedation you’re likely to encounter. Most of the time, dentists will not have you undergo general anesthesia; it’s often valuable for a patient to be conscious so that they can have input on how the procedure is going.
Most dentists will recommend either nitrous oxide or oral conscious sedation. The former is what’s known as “laughing gas,” and is fed through a mask during a procedure. It tends to be fairly mild, and wears off quickly after the flow of gas stops.
Oral sedation is usually stronger, and requires you to take a pill containing the sedative before the appointment. This is often a better option for patients with severe dental anxiety.
Whichever way you go, your dentist will be happy to do whatever it takes to keep you comfortable during treatment. Let them know how you’re feeling, and they’ll give you sedation that will be sure to put you at ease.
About Our Practice
At Boyles General Dentistry & Implant Center, we are driven every day to provide our patients with the highest level of dental care imaginable, and to give them the smiles they’ve always dreamed of. Drs. Stephen and Franklin Boyles have a combined 60 years of dental experience, and they’re happy to work together to ensure that each patient receives the full benefit of their expertise.
If you have any questions about sedation dentistry, we can be reached at our website or by phone at (432) 685-7011.