FAQs - Sedation (Sleep) Dentistry & General Anaesthesia

Who is a candidate for sedation dentistry?

You or someone you love is a candidate for Sedation Dentistry (Sleep Dentistry) if you/they have experienced any of the following: 

1. Fear or anxiety surrounding Dentists or Dentistry
2. Have had a traumatic dental experience
3. A severe gag reflex
4. Have difficulty becoming numb with local anaesthetic (freezing) or have very sensitive teeth
5. Extensive dental problems
6. A child who is too nervous or too young to undergo dental treatment awake

Our goal is to ensure the comfort of each patient according to their specific needs. We're very approachable and will answer any and all of the questions you may have surrounding your oral health. Talk to us today.  

What is local anesthetic?

It is a fluid (lidocaine, articaine) given through use of a syringe and needle injected into the specific area. It temporarily numbs the tooth and surrounding tissues (tongue, lip, cheek etc). This local anesthetic (freezing) lasts from approximately 3-4 hours.

There are more dentistry options available today than ever before. Our focus is on pain-free dentistry so that patients are confident and comfortable coming to our office. Patients can choose the option of having their oral health treatment done awake or asleep.

How are patients put to sleep?

Most people report that they feel absolutely nothing and that during their dental appointments they are relaxed, sleeping and comfortable at all times. You will be sedated, so you will require a companion to drive you to and from your appointment and it is recommended you have someone stay with you after. One of our team members will always be with you and you will be monitored constantly to ensure your comfort and safety. 

How Are Patients Put To Sleep? There are 2 ways. Depending on the individual patient, breathing through a mask or by injection. There are 3 levels of sedation used depending on the patient and their situation. They are

  • General anesthesia – completely asleep and unconscious
  • Deep sedation – unconscious, not as deeply asleep, faster recovery time
  • Conscious sedation – conscious and responsive but unaware
What is general anesthesia?

General Anesthesia is an effective way of completing dental treatment while the patient is unconscious. This allows us to complete the dental treatment you need without any discomfort.

Is general anesthesia safe?

An Anesthesiologist is responsible for administering general anesthesia and for closely monitoring and caring for the patient throughout the appointment. With the help of a Registered Nurse, monitoring of heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen level occurs throughout the procedure. Your Dentist will discuss the benefits and risks involved in General Anesthesia (G.A.) related to your health and the specific treatment you are considering.

Are there any special instructions for general anesthesia?

A physical examination is required prior to the General Anesthesia appointment. A form is filled out by your Doctor and given to the Anesthesiologist for information on your medical state to ensure your safety during the appointment. You will receive specific instructions for your appointment. Generally, it is important not to have anything to eat or drink from the night prior and up until the appointment time. Wear comfortable clothing. The person receiving treatment should be accompanied to the appointment and have someone drive them home afterward.  Please feel free to ask us any questions before, during and after your dental treatment!  

Will my insurance cover general anesthesia?

We will send an insurance estimate to your third party insurance provider prior to your treatment to determine the extent of coverage for general anesthesia services. If coverage doesn't exist, we can also help you with a financial payment plan through Desjardins Financial, the largest cooperative financial group in Canada. We're here to help you get the dental care you need.

What is the difference between being awake and asleep?

The patient who chooses to have their dental treatment done while they are awake, is fully aware of their surroundings and knows that the work is underway in their mouth. Usually when treatment is being done on a patient who is awake, local anesthetic (freezing) is used in the specific area being treated. Local anesthetic can also be used in conjunction with nitrous oxide/oxygen to help the patient relax, decreasing their anxiety. The patient who has work done asleep is under general anesthesia, is unconscious, relaxed and blissfully unaware.

Who should receive dental care with general anesthesia?

Any patient with severe anxiety, who is extremely sensitive to sound, sight or sensations of dental treatment and/or may need extensive treatment, may opt for sleep dentistry. We would be happy to all the discuss treatment options with you. Give us a call. 

Will I remember anything?

The patient will only remember up to the point where he or she is seated for the appointment. After General Anesthesia has been administered the patient does not remember anything.

How will the patient feel after the appointment?

Usually the patient feels tired and would like to relax or sleep for the remainder or the day. 

What is nitrous oxide/oxygen (laughing gas)?

Nitrous oxide/oxygen (N2O/O2) sedation is a combination of two gasses, oxygen and nitrous oxide. They are inhaled by the patient through a mask on their nose for the entire length of the procedure. When the body absorbs them, it has a calming effect. This is also referred to as Deep Sedation. At the end of the appointment, 100% oxygen is given to the patient to reverse the effects. The patient is then back to normal, able to drive home and return to a normal daily routine.

Who can benefit from nitrous oxide/oxygen?

Deep Sedation is safe and effective for both children and adults. It may not work for everyone though... people with nasal congestion, severe anxiety or discomfort with wearing a nasal mask may not realize the benefits of nitrous oxide/oxygen.

What does the patient feel when breathing nitrous oxide/oxygen?

It’s different for everyone. Most experience relaxation, a sense of well being, while others may feel tingling in their hands and feet or may experience weightlessness as if they were floating. It’s mainly a sense of carelessness about what is happening in their mouths, especially for those who are sensitive to sound and/or sight.

Are there any special instructions for nitrous oxide/oxygen?

Let your dentist know if you are taking medication or if you have problems breathing through your nose (nasal congestion). Also eat little or no food before your appointment.

How safe is nitrous oxide/oxygen?

Very safe. Nitrous oxide/oxygen is non-addictive, it is taken easily and the effects are quickly reversed after breathing oxygen. There are many options and choices available in dentistry today that didn't exist many years ago. At AXIS Dental, our focus is pain-free dentistry. We want every patient to feel comfortable coming to our dental office regularly. Patients can choose the option of having their treatment done awake or asleep.


Business Hours

We’re open 7 days a week and evenings. We take great pride in providing you with a comfortable, clean and modern dental facility led by a team of highly skilled and dedicated professionals.

MON to FRI: 7:30am to 8:00pm
SAT: 8:00am to 5:00pm
SUN: 9:00am to 4:00pm


Dental Emergencies

We can treat dental emergencies within 2 hours during business hours.

You don’t have to wait to book an appointment with us.


Financing Options

No need to delay your dental treatment. Our financing options and payment plans offer affordable monthly payments. Available options include interest-free terms from 3 to 12 months.

For more information, please call 905.452.7111 Nicole at ext: 235 or Isabella at ext: 320



Direct Billing: We bill, process and accept payments directly from insurance companies.

We recognize that insurance forms and policies can be complicated. It is our goal to help simplify this part of your dental visit.