Sedation dentistry in Raleigh is a great option for people who feel anxious about visiting the dentist or have multiple treatment needs that would typically take more than one appointment to address. With sedation, you can choose your level of drowsiness (and awareness) to fit your preferences. It’s a great way to feel relaxed about your upcoming dental procedures.
If you’ve never had sedation dental treatments in the past, you probably have some questions related to the fees involved. How much does sedation dentistry cost? Is it covered by my insurance? How much will I have to pay out of pocket?
Wondering if you can afford to see a sedation dentist? There are a number of variables when it comes to the cost of dental sedation. Here are just a few:
Cost of Sedation Dentistry
Bottom line: the cost of Raleigh sedation dentistry will depend on the type of sedation that you choose to get. Each one is priced differently, with some being extremely affordable while others are a bit more of an investment.
How will you know exactly how much the sedation will cost? Since your anesthesia or sedation fee will be worked into your dental treatment plan — and being that everyone’s insurance coverage is different — our patient care coordinators will work up an itemized treatment outline. This care plan will list out the specific services required, your estimated insurance benefits, copays/deductibles, and then any remaining patient portion balance. If you prefer, we can work up different treatment plans with differing types of sedation for you to compare to one another.
It’s worth noting that you could potentially save money by booking treatment sooner with sedation than later. Since most dental health complications will only evolve into more aggressive stages of disease, treating them months down the road will typically cost more money out of pocket. Plus, insurance benefits tend to reduce coverage the more complex the treatment needs are. When you do the math, it’s a smarter choice to go ahead and treat issues while they’re smaller, even with the added investment of sedation costs.
Types of Sedation Dental Options
There’s more than just one type of sedation dentistry to choose from. Depending on which Raleigh dentist you use, the licenses they hold, and the setup of their facility, the sedation can range from extremely mild to deeper deliveries that might otherwise need to occur in a hospital or surgical center.
Perhaps the most common type of sedation that people are familiar with is inhalation sedation or nitrous oxide. AKA “laughing gas.” With nitrous oxide sedation, the mild effects make you feel almost as if you’ve had a couple of glasses of wine. Although you’re aware of everything going on and can converse back and forth with the dentist, you really don’t care about anything very much. Even getting a small injection of local anesthetic is practically a pain-free experience.
Best of all, nitrous oxide sedation begins working within a matter of minutes and is 100% reversible at the completion of your appointment. So even if you drove yourself to our office, the effects wear off and you can drive yourself home afterward. There isn’t any lingering drowsiness that you’ll have to worry about. How? Because the sedative is inhaled into your lungs and then quickly distributes itself into your bloodstream. Once it’s turned off and you’re placed back onto 100% pure oxygen, the sedative is flushed from your respiratory tract and circulatory system in just 5-10 minutes at most. You can choose nitrous oxide on extremely brief appointments, including your regular dental cleanings. It also works well for slightly longer procedures.
Then you have a deeper sedation such as “conscious oral” sedation. Depending on who you ask, they might also refer to it as “twilight sedation.” Oral sedation uses a prescription medication that you take by mouth before the scheduled appointment. It causes you to feel extremely drowsy for at least a few hours at a time. That way there’s plenty of time to go ahead and complete all of your treatment and have you on your way before the medication completely wears off. It will gradually lessen as the hours go by, so it’s important to have someone you trust (like a close friend or family member) drive you home and keep an eye on you.
With oral sedation, most people experience amnesia following their dental procedure. So even if you’re fully alert up until the point of being sedated, you probably won’t even remember anything that happened. The amnesia is a side-effect of the sedation medications being used. Since a lot of people say things like, “I don’t want to remember anything about the appointment”, oral conscious sedation is a great way to safely make that happen.
Finally, there is a deeper type of sedation known as IV sedation. As you might guess, the medication is delivered through an IV line in your arm. With IV sedation you receive a specific dose spaced over a specific period of time. It is fast-acting and can be turned off immediately at the completion of your treatment. However, you’ll still experience the lingering drowsiness similar to oral sedation (so you’ll need someone to come with you.) IV sedation works well for complex procedures where multiple phases of treatment are being completed at the same time. Since it’s possible to control the exact length of time, this sedative option is better for potentially longer visits.
IV sedation is an excellent option for someone who wants to be “completely knocked out” during their appointment. It should essentially feel as if you’re napping through the entire visit. And as with oral sedation, the IV medication can leave a lingering amnesic effect.
Streamlining Treatments into Fewer Visits
One of the ways sedation dentistry saves you money is by saving you time (time is money, after all!) Take for instance someone who has multiple decayed teeth or needs to phase out their treatments over 3-4 separate appointments. Without sedation, we would still be numbing your mouth, but we don’t want you to have your entire mouth numbed at one time. So those procedures are spaced out depending on which area of your mouth is being worked on. That means additional trips back and forth, appointments to schedule — but also — extra time off from work.
Fortunately, sedation dentistry helps you save time and take fewer sick days or vacation leave. Rather than scheduling you for 2-3 (or more) appointments over the course of time, you can plan to schedule the majority of your treatments in one visit as long as it’s performed under dental sedation. The reason being is because even if multiple areas of your mouth are anesthetized, the medication will all start to wear off as the sedative does too. Additionally, since you are sedated, you won’t mind the length of time that you’re sitting there in the chair. Time is relative for sedation patients. A two-hour procedure may feel like it only took about 10 minutes! Knowing that you’re comfortable for a longer duration will make it easier to go ahead and complete multiple phases of care in one sitting. You can essentially save multiple hours of your personal time by electing to have your treatment performed under sedation at our Raleigh dentist office.
It’s Not Just About the Cost of Dental Sedation
Sometimes investing in sedation dentistry isn’t about whether or not you can afford it. It’s more of whether you can address existing anxiety or phobia that you have related to dental care. Perhaps you’ve had bad experiences in the past and those memories are getting in the way of the treatment you need.
When we feel too nervous to finally treat an infection or even initiate that smile makeover we’ve been dreaming about for years, it’s not the cost that really gets to us – it’s the impact on our daily activities. Our quality of life. Secondary complications that result from not treating the first ones.
The investment in Raleigh dental sedation allows you to give yourself a gentle experience where you can finally address the oral health conditions plaguing your smile. And chances are that once you do, you may not need to plan additional sedation procedures in the future. Why? Because ongoing preventative care will be non-invasive and simple for maintaining your results for the long term. One you have a grip on your smile’s overall wellness, it’s easier to schedule routine visits without the cost of sedation in the future.
Learn More About Raleigh Sedation Dentistry
Raleigh Dental Arts offers in-house dental sedation for most procedures. Our trained sedation dentists look after your safety and wellbeing throughout the entire duration of your appointment. Even the initial screening process is extremely detailed.
As our office continues to expand the types of sedation services that we offer, we have no doubt that you’ll be able to overcome your anxiety as you move forward with your medically necessary or elective dental needs.
Contact Raleigh Dental Arts today to reserve a brief exam or consultation with our sedation dentists to find out how we can help!