Sedation Dentistry: From Nitrous Oxide to Oral Conscious Sedation and Beyond

Dentists Offer an Array of Dental Sedation Options

Dental Survey Results

When we asked dentists about the highest level of sedation dentistry they offer to their patients, responses were across the board. Some offer full anesthesia; others offer OCS; others offer no sedation services.

General dentists and specialists have markedly different patterns of sedation. Given the more intensive procedures often performed by specialists, it’s not surprising that they offer a higher level of sedation on their patients.

A number of dentists voiced their preference for IV sedation. “It’s the platinum of sedation without side effects,” wrote a prosthodontist. “I would lose over half my practice without dental sedation,” said another dentist. But one dentist worried, “With some of the practitioners I’ve seen, conscious sedation is a catastrophe waiting to happen.”

What else do dentists think about sedation dentistry?

  • “I would lose over half my practice without dental sedation.” (Arkansas dentist)
  • “It makes for really easy visits and incredibly appreciative patients.” (California dentist)
  • “Although sedation seems like a nice thing to have available for your patients, the reality is that it is a real pain to provide! My favorite method of sedation is someone who is able to take just local anesthesia!” (Nevada dentist)
  • “Nitrous sedation is my favorite because of total reversibility.” (California dentist)
  • “I don’t agree with the use of dental sedation.” (Florida dentist)
  • “I think the profession is missing the boat concerning IV sedation….I wouldn’t work without it. Three cases this morning. This is my 40th year using IV.” (General dentist)
  • “I feel too many dentists are treading in an area where they are not well trained.” (Pennsylvania dentist)
  • “I’d love to do more, and I feel hog-tied because of state laws. I spent a lot of time and money to learn about it only to learn that I couldn’t legally do what I was taught.” (Pennsylvania dentist)

Read the complete Sedation Denistry: From Nitrous Oxide to Conscious Sedation to Anesthesia survey results

Sedation Dentistry Celebrates 10 Years with DOCS

Jim Du MolinIt’s been 10 years since Dr. Michael Silverman and Jim Du Molin launched their first seminar for DOCS, the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation.

Though Jim wasn’t able to make it to Dr. Silverman’s anniversary celebration for DOCS, he sent along a video greeting. (Watch the video)

10-Year Anniversary Message to DOCSDOCS began some years before that first seminar. Dr. Silverman was working to lessen dental fear and dental anxiety for dental implant patients.

Jim was the dental consultant; Michael was the sedation dentist. Together, the two men worked out how to pitch sedation dentistry to the public, how to market conscious sedation, and how to work with patients who have dental phobia.

Over a decade later, the DOCS program has been a smashing success. Hear what Jim has to say about the anniversary of sedation dentistry‘s DOCS:

Sedation Dentistry: DOCS 10-Year Anniversary Video from Jim Du Molin

The Oral Conscious Sedation Dentist

Sedation dentistry: oral conscious sedation dentistsThe sedation dentist has many tools to calm patients with dental anxiety, but one of the methods most commonly used is oral conscious sedation.

In our survey, two-thirds of dentists reported that their practices offer sedation dentistry with OCS.

“It is an excellent tool for the patient with dental fear who has not been to the dentist in years,” offered one sedation dentist. “It is a major part of my practice.”

“The regulations are overly onerous,” said a pediatric dentist. “More rules and regulations won’t prevent irresponsible behavior–it will only prevent many competent practitioners from utilizing this modality.

“I have a permit to do IV sedation in addition to oral sedation, which does not work for at least 50% of patients,” said another dentist.

 

Read more about sleep dentistry: Dentists Love Oral Conscious Sedation

Dentists Love Oral Conscious Sedation Dentistry (VIDEO)

When we asked dentists if they offer their patients sedation dentistry, two out of three reported that their dental practices offer oral conscious sedation.

A quarter of dentists don’t feel comfortable offering sedation. And 8% said that they wished they were able to offer OCS, but regulations in their state made it too difficult to implement in their practice.

Read more: OCS a Favorite with Sedation Dentists

Sedation Dentistry Costs Vary Widely

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 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.

 

Here are few comments from responding dentists:

  • “We often comp the sedation fee on big cases.” (California dentist)
  • “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)
  • “We charge a higher fee for smokers, where they take longer to manage.” (Kentucky dentist)
  • “It is my opinion that dental anesthesiology will help dentistry and open the way for more training and treatment by dentists.” (Dental anesthesiologist)

Read more: The Cost of Dental Sedation? Usually, a Few Hundred Dollars

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