General anesthesia

Children who have severe anxiety, complex medical issues or other conditions that make it hard for them to cooperate, may need medicine to put them to sleep (general anaesthesia) during dental care, especially if they need more extended treatment.

This option allows dentistry to be accomplished safely and in one visit.

What is General Anesthesia?

General Anesthesia (GA) involves fully sedating your child, usually through an intravenous injection, to perform more complex dental procedures. PDG accomplish all the GA procedures at an accredited surgical centre (the Cambie Surgical Centre), located in Downtown Vancouver.

The PDG doctors may recommend general anaesthesia if your child:

  • Cannot relax enough for treatment to be safely performed
  • Requires oral surgery that may be difficult to tolerate awake
  • Requires extensive dental procedures that are best done in a single appointment
  • Has a disability that limits their ability to understand directions

If your child is eligible for general anaesthesia, you will receive information on any restrictions and the procedure in depth.


The most significant advantage of putting a child to sleep while getting their dental work done is that they will not be traumatized by their dental work. Also, once the child is completely asleep, all treatment, including x-rays, fillings, crowns, and cleanings can be done at once in a manner that is not traumatic or scary for them.

Please talk to your child about the procedure, and give them time to ask questions. You can also show them this video where we introduce the General Anesthesia appointment in a child-friendly way.

Note: If your child does not feel well (has a cold, the flu, a fever) one day before the appointment, please inquire whether the procedures will need to be rescheduled.

For less complicated dental treatments, your dentist can also recommend Mild Oral Sedation. It doesn’t put patients to sleep, but it helps them stay calm, relaxed and allow them to respond normally to verbal commands.

Don’t hesitate to call our office at 604-PDG-1000 or 604-599-9360 if  you have any questions about general anaesthesia, dental sedation for children, or how to best care for your child’s oral health.

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