Will insurance help pay for sedation dentistry?


I’m wondering if dental insurance plans help pay for sedation dentistry. I have been putting off going to the dentist for years. Now I am starting to get sore gums and toothaches and I am worried that it will get worse if I don’t man up and get to the dentist. It is embarrassing but it is a fear that I can’t seem to get a grip on. I am thinking that sedation dentistry might help but is this something that insurance will help pay for or do I have to pay for it all out of pocket? How much will it cost? Abe

Abe – You have a lot of company with other people who fear dental appointments. The fear affects millions of Americans.

Dentists who offer sedation dentistry like to treat fearful patients. The dentist and staff will help you to relax, and they won’t make you feel embarrassed about your fear.

Sedation Dentistry and Insurance

Whether or not a dental plan will provide benefits for sedation depends on several factors:

  • Some insurance plans provide limited benefits for sedation dentistry. For example, depending on the procedure, up to one or two hours of sedation may be allowed.
  • If you have a copy of your plan benefits, it may indicate whether or not any coverage is provided for sedation.
  • Otherwise, you can contact the insurance company directly. Ask your dentist’s office for the dental codes that relate to your procedure. It will help the customer service rep determine which services are eligible for benefits.

The cost of sedation will depend on the type of sedation administered and the length of your treatment. If your plan does not provide benefits for sedation dentistry, or if the benefits are limited, speak with your dentist about how it can be made affordable for you.

This post is sponsored by Lowell, MA dentist Dr. Michael Szarek.

What’s the difference between sedation dentistry and anesthesia for surgery?


I’ve recently moved here and within the past 2 months I have received several postcards for dentists in the area. 2 or 3 of the postcards I have are for sedation dentists. This year one of my resolutions is to keep my dentists appointments. Since I have moved to a new area maybe this is a good time to get back on track. Sedation dentistry might be a good idea for me but I am not sure that I want to be knocked out for the appointment. I have a background in law enforcement and security so I like to know what’s going on around me. My wife says that sedation isn’t like anesthesia you get for surgery. If it isn’t the same, what’s the difference and what’s the point?

Thanks, Dylan


When sedation dentistry is administered, patients are conscious. Unlike general anesthesia which makes you unconscious, sedation dentistry puts you in a very relaxed state.

The levels of sedation dentistry include nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation, and IV sedation. If you receive nitrous oxide (laughing gas), know that it is the mildest form of sedation available.

Your dentist’s goal will be to help you relax with the minimum amount of sedation necessary—based on the dental procedure and your level and anxiety.

Even though patients are conscious, some are so relaxed that they fall asleep throughout the dental procedure. After you receive a dental procedure with sedation, you will probably be willing to have it administered for any future dental treatment you need. Sometimes sedation dentistry increases the comfort level of a patient to the point that he or she doesn’t require sedation for every dental procedure.

If you receive oral conscious sedation, drowsiness will linger after your dental procedure. Arrange for transportation to and from the appointment, just as you would for outpatient surgery. Keep in mind that you will not be under general anesthesia.

If you are interested in this treatment, visit a few dentists to learn which forms of sedation are offered. Find out if the dentist has received any training for sedation. Depending on which levels of sedation are used, minimal training is required.

You will likely find your dental visits much more productive if you choose sedation.


This post is sponsored by Lowell, MA dentist Dr. Michael Szarek.

I don’t sleep for 48 hours will it reduce my fear at the dentist’s office?


I have serious dental phobia. I am wondering if I don’t sleep for 48 hours or so will it help me sleep at the dentist. If I can’t fall asleep totally I am hoping that the sleepiness will reduce the level of my fear. – Kenny from Greenfield

Kenny – It is dangerous not to sleep for 48 hours for any reason. There are dentists who can help you relax without putting you in danger or at risk of having a serious accident.

A sedation dentist, sometimes called a sleep dentist, can either give you nitrous oxide gas to help you relax, or as a stronger solution, a mild sedative.

You will be conscious, but completely relaxed, so you can have a productive dental appointment. You probably won’t remember any of the appointment.

Do an Internet search for “sedation dentist” to find this type of dentist in your area.

This post is sponsored by Lowell dentist Dr. Michael Szarek.