Sleep dentistry

Can a dentist Put you to Sleep ?

Patients often ask: can a dentist use general anaesthetic? General anaesthesia is a medical field that requires a medical practitioner to undergo many years of specialised training. A dentist can work alongside the specialist medical practitioner, called an anaesthetist, to carry out dental treatment under general anaesthesia (GA). A dentist that is trained to work with an anaesthetist can carry out dental treatment while the anaesthetist looks after the patient’s anaesthetic needs to ensure the patient is safely unconscious throughout the dental treatment.

What is general anaesthesia?

General anaesthesia (GA) is a procedure where intravenous drugs and inhaled gases are administered by an anaesthetist to put patients in a sleep-like state so that medical treatment can be carried out. Under general anaesthesia, patients do not feel pain or move and are not aware of the procedure being carried out because patients are unconscious. General anaesthesia is different to the use of medication, happy gas or twilight sedation where the patient is still conscious and able to feel pain. 

Can a dentist put you to sleep for fillings? Can a dentist put you to sleep while pulling teeth?

Yes, patients can be put to sleep for a wide range of dental procedures such as fillings and teeth removal. Patients may require general anaesthesia for dental treatment for many reasons. It is commonly utilised for patients who:

  • are highly anxious or fearful, including patients with claustrophobia
  • are unable to be numbed up effectively
  • have a strong gag reflex
  • may find it challenging to stay open or keep still, including patients in aged care or patients with special needs such as cerebral palsy
  • have found happy gas or sedation to be ineffective
  • are undergoing invasive and loud procedures, such as the removal of wisdom teeth
  • require extensive treatment and would like most or all treatment to be completed in one session.

General Anaesthetic Dentist in brisbane

Patients often wonder if dental treatment under general anaesthesia is carried out at a hospital or a dental practice. Some dentists may perform dentistry under general anaesthesia in a dental practice. However, patients with a complex medical history or Body Mass Index above 40 will usually need to be treated in a hospital setting. Dr Jin Gan is accredited at multiple private hospitals and our patients undergo dental treatment under general anaesthesia at a hospital because a hospital is the safest setting in the event of a medical emergency. In addition, patients with hospital cover may also have no out-of-pocket fees or only be out of pocket an excess as per their private health fund agreement. Dr Jin operates at hospitals including Sunnybank Private Hospital and Ipswich Day Hospital and we will discuss the most suitable hospital for the patient’s individual needs. 

Can you be Put you to Sleep for wisdom tooth removal?

People often develop pain with their wisdom teeth due to lack of space or poor positioning of their wisdom tooth. This may result in the wisdom tooth needing to be removed. The removal of wisdom teeth can greatly range in complexity. Patients may be recommended or personally choose to have them removed under general anaesthesia if the wisdom tooth removal is expected to be complex, if there is concern about the ability to achieve complete numbness during the procedure or if the patient has some dental anxiety. 

I am a dentist / medical or allied health professional. Can I refer my patient to Arise Dental?

General dentists frequently see patients who may not be able to tolerate dentistry in a typical dental setting due to reasons such as dental anxiety, claustrophobia, a strong gag reflex, inability to stay open for prolonged periods or special needs such as cerebral palsy.  Medical practitioners or allied health professionals may also see patients with debilitating fear of the dentist or inability to have treatment carried out in a typical dental setting complaining of dental pain and infections. These patients deserve access to care like any other patients and may only be able to have dental treatment under GA. If you would like discuss or refer a patient to us please contact us at