Does the thought of visiting the dentist make you extremely nervous or stressed? You are not alone. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, an estimated 40 million Americans skip trips to the dentist out of fear. Fortunately, sedation dentistry can help eliminate your anxiety and ensure you get the dental care you need. Worried about how much this peace of mind will cost? Keep reading to learn more about the cost of sedation dentistry and why it’s a great deal for those who need it.
What Types of Dental Sedation Are Available?
The cost of keeping you comfortable in the dentist’s chair will depend in part on what form of dental sedation is utilized. Two of the most common types of sedation dentistry include:
- Nitrous Oxide – Also known as “laughing gas”, nitrous oxide is an odorless, colorless and tasteless gas that is administered through a mask that fits over the nose. Patients treated with nitrous oxide remain awake throughout their dental procedure but feel a deep sense of relaxation. The effects of nitrous oxide wear off quickly once the mask is removed.
- Oral Conscious Sedation – A pill taken one hour prior to a dental procedure, oral conscious sedation produces a light to moderate level of sedation. Patients remain awake during dental work but feel deeply relaxed and unbothered by their surroundings. The effects of oral conscious sedation can linger, so patients must arrange for someone to drive them home after their dental appointment.
What Factors Influence the Cost of Sedation Dentistry?
In addition to what form of sedation is used, the cost of sedation dentistry is also influenced by geographic location and insurance coverage.
Unfortunately, many insurance companies do not provide full coverage for sedation dentistry. However, there are some important exceptions. For example, some policies may cover a patient with a medical diagnosis from their doctor confirming the patient suffers from severe dental phobia. In addition, individuals who have a medical condition or disability that prevents them from receiving proper dental care without being sedated may also be covered.
In the end, every dental insurance plan is slightly different. If you think you may be a candidate for dental sedation, be sure to contact your insurance provider directly to confirm coverage.
The Cost of Not Seeking Dental Treatment
Finally, one more point to consider is the cost of NOT seeking dental treatment when you need it. If you have a small cavity now, a simple filling can probably fix your tooth and protect your mouth’s future health. However, if you delay treatment, the cavity could worsen and eventually lead to tooth loss! A dental extraction and implant placement in the future will certainly cost more than getting a filling right now.
If you suffer from severe dental anxiety, sedation dentistry offers a comfortable, economical way to get the dental treatment you need. Do not hesitate to ask your dentist for more details about how dental sedation can benefit your smile and your wallet.
About the Author
With nearly 40 years of experience, Dr. Peter Pate is an expert at ensuring patients feel comfortable and at ease during each and every visit. The active member of the Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine provides both nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation at his Buckhead private practice. To learn more about sedation dentistry, visit Dr. Pate’s website or call 404-266-9424.