We have reopened for regular dental appointments. In light of Covid-19 public health concerns, there will be some changes to our usual protocols. Click here to learn more.

Dental Anxiety


People can dislike coming to see us. We understand. For those who need something to keep them from being overly anxious during their appointments, there are solutions. We offer conscious sedation in the form of nitrous oxide (laughing gas) sedation, or nitrous oxide plus an oral sedative. We can even offer general anesthesia at Royal Victoria Hospital for the severely anxious (where even IV sedation may not have worked). Sedation may not only be for the anxious! Sedation can be a great option for those who gag easily, feel claustrophobic, or just plain don’t want to be awake for their dentistry.

Nitrous Oxide

This type of gas inhalation is our most common sedation, and is very safe. During the appointment, you are awake, but simply relaxed. Young children benefit greatly from this type of sedation, as it can take away fear of dental appointments and turn them into fun, positive experiences.

Not only is nitrous oxide safe, there is also a very short recovery time (usually about 5 minutes), so there is no “hangover” effect. You are safe to drive home on your own.

Nitrous oxide with oral sedative

This is used when there is moderate to severe anxiety, or perhaps the dental procedure is a bit more involved or lengthy. You are more sedated than with just the nitrous oxide, but you will remain technically conscious. This type of sedation is usually accompanied by amnesia about the procedure as well. For nervous children or longer pediatric dental appointments, this option can be ideal.

You are monitored by our nurse throughout the appointment, and because recovery is slower, you will need someone to take you back home.

General Anesthesia at Royal Victoria Hospital

This is an option available to those who have special medical needs, specific oral conditions such as limited mouth opening, such severe anxiety that it cannot be managed by lesser means of sedation, or perhaps such a large volume of dental work required that it is better to get it a large amount of it done in one session. This is full-on general anesthesia in the surgical operating rooms at RVH, and is great for those few who need it. For the severely needle-phobic, we can have you asleep without an IV.

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