Sedation Dentist? For Many Patients, Not During a Recession

Sedation dentist: less demand in recession economyMany patients who might see a sedation dentist are avoiding sedation dentistry for less expensive options, found this survey. Two out of three dentists say the recession has led to a decrease in demand for sleep dentistry.

This is especially true of oral conscious sedation, but also holds true for IV sedation.

“There’s also been a decrease in demand for dental implants and cosmetic dentistry,” said one dentist. “People are trying to save wherever they can,” agreed a periodontist.

Here are some further comments:

  • “All of dentistry is elective excluding a simple extraction. When times are bad and money is tight, dentistry can be delayed, including broken fillings, cleanings, crowns, etc.” (Indiana dentist)
  • “If it costs more for sedation dentistry…or anything else…patients would rather not do it or delay treatment.” (General dentist)
  • “The recession is causing patients to defer anything except what they perceive to be critical care.” (Maine dentist)
  • “Demand has stayed the same or slightly INCREASED!” (Indiana dentist)
  • “Case sizes are smaller as dental financing is not as readily available.” (Tennessee dentist)
  • This is the first time an economic slowdown/recession has ever affected our practice.” (California dentist)

Read more: Sedation Dentistry & the Recession: Less Work for the Sleep Dentist

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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