Sedation Dentistry Grows in Popularity Among Dentists

Sedation Dentistry Grows in Popularity Among DentistsPediatric sedation continues to grow in popularity as the number of children with serious dental conditions continues to grow.

The percentage of dentists who reported that sedation dentistry is a great treatment modality increased from 52% in 2010 to 68% in 2012, according to a recent The Wealthy Dentist survey.

The pediatric sedation survey found that suburban dentists are most in favor of sedation dentistry as a treatment option, followed by urban dentists.

Suburban dentists had the most comments on the subject, stressing that conscious sedation requires extensive training because of the risks involved.

One periodontist wrote, “I have been doing all forms of sedation for over 30 years. Young children are very brittle and administration requires advanced training for the safest outcomes.”

According to this survey, rural dentists are less likely to use sedation dentistry than any of the other dentists surveyed.

Here’s how the dentists answered when asked what best described their attitude towards pediatric sedation dentistry —

  • 68% – It’s a great treatment modality that requires proper training.
  • 05% – I still am not certain of its safety.
  • 27% – General dentists should not be performing pediatric sedation.

Sedation dentistry continues to become more common in pediatric dental care as the number of young children with serious dental issues is on the increase.

Here are some of the dentist’s comments —

“At our office an MD anesthesiologist provides sedation while I perform the dentistry. Clearly this is reserved primarily for the larger cases.” (Missouri dentist)

“Proper training is the key to the use of sedation.” (California dentist)

“It definitely requires proper training and absolute attention to detail otherwise it can without doubt, be deadly.” (Louisiana dentist)

“General dentists should not be performing pediatric sedation.” (Virginia dentist)

“I frankly am not in favor of sedation. It is overdone. Discussing their fears, proceeding slowly at first, and securing the patients confidence without drugging them is better in the long run.” (Michigan dentist)

“It’s the only way to treat some kids. I sure am thankful that I can refer to someone who does it as I would not want the liability and stress myself.” (Georgia dentist)

“It requires extensive training and case selection is very important.” (Pediatric dentist)

Dentists, what are your thoughts about sedation dentistry?

Dental Sedation Scores Its Own Brahms Lullaby From Dentist (video)

Dental Sedation Scores Its Own Brahms Lullaby From Dentist (video)Sedation dentistry helps dental patients relax during dental treatments.

Many dentists use sedation dentistry to induce “minimal or moderate sedation,” so that dental patients achieve a relaxed state during dental care.

While doing research for this week’s Friday random video, I stumbled across one dentist’s sedation dentistry dental marketing video that I thought was pretty clever.

Often, dentists are apprehensive about doing their own dental marketing videos, so I like to showcase examples when I come across them on the Internet.

Videos by dentists offer me the opportunity to point out  how simple a dental marketing video can be to create.

I enjoyed the following example from Dr. Hal Enlow, of Enlow and Vance Dental Partners, because it subtly combines his marketing pitch for sedation dentistry with his musical talent. I am guessing that his dental patients just love his original “dental version” of  Brahms Lullaby —

Click on play to hear Dr. Enlow sing sedation dentistry —

What are your thoughts on using YouTube for sedation marketing?

What holds you back form creating your own dental marketing videos?

The Sedation Dentist Offers Multiple Types of Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry typesNitrous oxide is the most popular type of sedation dentistry, found our recent survey, with oral conscious sedation a close second. In fact, dentists are four times more likely to provide nitrous oxide sedation than pediatric dental sedation.

“Sedation is not for everybody (the dentists),” advised one dentist.

The respondents to this survey tended to offer multiple types of sedation dentistry.

  • 88% Nitrous Oxide
  • 83% Oral Conscious Sedation
  • 47% IV Sedation
  • 31% Dental Fear / Phobic Counseling
  • 22% Pediatric Sedation

Here are some comments from dentists:

  • “Couldn’t do without these two [nitrous oxide & conscious sedation].” (Texas dentist)
  • “It’s a wonderful option for dental phobic patients!” (Minnesota dentist)
  • “In many cases it is the only safe way to practice dentistry for pediatric dentistry cases and special needs and phobics.” (Pennsylvania dentist)
  • “It is wonderful that dentists are now addressing the issue of patient dental anxiety with sedation, but I hope we don’t attempt to treat patients with a one-size-fits-all mentality.” (General Dentist)
  • “It’s not for everybody (the dentists).” (Kentucky dentist)
  • “Sedation is very safe when used properly. Practice carefully and continue your training.” (Tennessee dentist)
  • “The dental profession should offer more programs for dentists who want to be able to administer general anesthesia.” (Massachusetts dentist)
  • “I.V Sedation is probably safer due to more direct route of administration.” (California dentist)

Read more: Dentists Offer Many Types of Sedation Dentistry

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

Are You Sleeping Through the Oral Conscious Sedation Debate?

by Jim Du Molin

By now I would hope you’re aware of the raging debate on the issue of oral conscious sedation. (You can catch up by reading my editorial on the subject.) In a nutshell, the ADA wants to limit conscious sedation by general dentists.

The doctors’ group Team 1500 has been fighting the ADA on this issue. The organization has been praised by acting US Surgeon General Dr. Kenneth Moritsugu, who commended the group for its “dedication to making quality healthcare available to all Americans.”

Moreover, the Academy of General Dentistry featured Team 1500 as the lead item on its website and newsletter. AGD President Dr. Bruce DeGinder wrote, “The Academy of General Dentistry is likewise dedicated to making quality healthcare available to all Americans.”

Team 1500 can explain the situation better than I can, so I’m going to let them do the talking this week. The following article was written by the group’s director.

Are the ADA and AGD the Secret Puppet Masters of Team 1500?

By Dean Rotbart, Director

I had a contentious phone conversation this past week with a member of the American Dental Association’s Council on Dental Education and Licensure, also known as CDEL.

It is CDEL that is recommending a major overhaul of the ADA’s existing guidelines pertaining to the practice of oral conscious sedation (OCS) – changes that we at Team 1500 believe are wholly unnecessary and designed primarily to protect the financial turf of oral surgeons, dental anesthesiologists and other specialists.

This CDEL member made it clear from the start that he doesn’t respect me or Team 1500. His contention was that we are working outside the established systems and are using questionable methods to promote our cause.

Our nearly 20-minute phone conversation followed CDEL’s meeting in Chicago late last month to consider the newly proposed guidelines that were submitted to CDEL by its Committee on Anesthesiology, also known as Committee H.

I had already discovered from another CDEL member that CDEL mostly – if not entirely – endorsed the recommendations that Committee H presented to CDEL’s 16 members. I wanted to confirm my facts and try to understand what rationale CDEL was using for proposing radical changes to the very same guidelines that the ADA’s own House of Delegates had praised in the fall of 2005 for their “remarkable safety record.”

There was more heat than light generated during our conversation.

The CDEL dentist, in particular, presented me with this false syllogism: Since most of Team 1500’s many donors and thousands of supporters also are members of the independent Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation (DOCS), then really it is DOCS who has been harassing CDEL, the ADA and others who are promulgating the new regulations.

What a non sequitur!

As I pointed out, those who are most opposed to the ADA’s proposed overhaul of the OCS guidelines are ALSO members of the ADA and Academy of General Dentistry (AGD). So in fact, if the CDEL member’s logic were correct, it is the ADA and AGD – not DOCS – that are actually pulling the strings of Team 1500.

Trying to trivialize the thousand-plus dentists who at Team 1500’s suggestion wrote the ADA to protest CDEL’s proposals by suggesting they are a small group of self-interested dentists is the pot calling the kettle black.

Read the conclusion of this story or help Team 1500.

Share your own thoughts on the issue of oral conscious sedation by leaving a post. This is a major debate in dentistry today, and I’m curious to know where you stand!

Jim Du Molin


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