Sedation Dentistry: Cost of Peace of Mind

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This survey found 97% of responding dentists happily offering OCS. The average fee for oral conscious sedation is about $300. Some dentists don’t charge, whereas others ask as much as $650.

A third (35%) offer IV sedation, charging about $500. But intravenous sedation fees ranged from $250-$800.

Only 6% have general anesthesia capabilities. Ranging from $320 to $1200, anesthesia costs around $700.

Sedation fees are just a drop in the bucket

  • "Most of the time I don’t charge for the sedation as these are usually very large (20K plus) cases." (Texas dentist)
  • "We often comp the sedation fee on big cases." (California dentist)

Differing levels of comfort with oral conscious sedation

  • "I do not believe in the pure Oral Sedation, but in combining it with N2O, I charge $350, providing that I have Permit A. I do not do General anesthesia because I do not have Permit B." (Illinois dentist)
  • "I only do oral sedation, and nitrous oxide." (South Carolina dentist)
  • "I’m a pediatric dentist using ‘Non-IV’ techniques for the deep ‘conscious’ sedation procedures on younger pediatric patients and surgical procedures." (South Carolina pediatric dentist)

Some dentists don’t charge for sedatives

  • "I just prescribe a sedative to take before the procedure, but not during, so I do not charge." (Texas dentist)
  • "When I prescribe an anxiolytic, such as triazolam, I do not charge additional, even though I monitor the patient.  As a dentist certified in oral and IV sedation, I find oral sedation to be of limited benefit to my more anxious patients." (New York dentist)

It’s all a matter of time

  • "My IV sedation fee is based on the amount of time needed to complete dental procedures." (Florida pediatric dentist)
  • "We charge a higher fee for smokers, where they take longer to manage." (Kentucky dentist)

A dental anesthesiologist’s perspective

  • "As a dental anesthesiologist, it is my opinion that dentists should be trained to manage the airway, start an IV and intubate a patient when necessary. It is my opinion that dental anesthesiology will help dentistry and open the way for more training and treatment by dentists."(Diplomat, National Dental Board of Anesthesiology)


Note: Survey sample included 101 respondents.

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