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Dental treatments can trigger anxiety in some patients. It may be due to past experiences in healthcare settings or because the patient is young and is apprehensive as they are not familiar with the environment. Some patients can overcome their anxiety over time gaining confidence with their dentist, however, some patients may still feel anxious although they trust their dentist. This can cause the patients to dread seeing their dentist or delay their dental treatment. If you are one of patients that belong in the latter category, there are definite ways to help make you feel at ease when attending your dentist.

The Happy Gas (Nitrous oxide)

Nitrous oxide is also known as happy gas or the laughing gas. This is a medical gas that can be used when providing dental treatment to help ease your anxiety. The dentist uses a mixture of 2 gases, nitrous oxide and oxygen provided through a mask that is worn over the nose. 

Happy gas can be used for all dental procedures. You may feel that it is needed for simple routine clean visits or more complex treatment such as root canal treatment. You may have a young anxious child that will require a restoration and is concerned whether he/she will be compliant. You might be afraid of needles and need a little assistance to help relax you before you get numbed up.


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To help ease your anxiety, happy gas can be administered couple of minutes prior to starting the procedure and can be continued to end of the procedure to ensure you feel relaxed throughout the whole appointment. When you breathe the happy gas, it helps to reduce pain and gives you a feeling of calm and euphoria. Happy gas can take effect very soon after inhalation and also wears off quite immediately as soon as the gas is turned off. 

Is happy gas safe?

Nitrous oxide is safe for majority of the patients. It has a very short half life in our body and therefore can be useful sedation method to fit your busy lifestyle. Once administered, you will feel its calming effects within 3-5 minutes and after your dental treatment when the gas has been turned off, the effect of nitrous oxide will wear off within 5 minutes. You will still be awake for the whole procedure and be aware of your surroundings. You will be able to communicate with your dentist throughout the procedure. The only difference is you will feel relaxed.

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The Wand Needles: Pain free dental injections

One of the most dreaded procedure at the dental clinic is being numbed up for the procedure. This is due to many factors

  1. The traditional dental syringe and needle is fairly large and in a metal casing that induces fear for many patients
  2. When the needle enters the gum, it can give a stinging sensation
  3. The pressure from the anesthetic liquid when placed in the gum can feel sore depending on clinician’s technique. This is the pain most patients experience when getting the needle, not the pain from the needle entering the skin itself. Skilled clinicians are often better at controlling the speed on anaesthetic delivery but can vary from visit to visit.



At Lumina Dental we try to minimize the unwanted effects of traditional injection delivery. We use topical anaesthetic combined with computerized modern injection delivery system called the Wand®.

  1. The Wand® looks like a fine tipped plastic pen 
  2. The topical anaesthetic applied on the gum prior to the procedure will reduce the stinging sensation
  3. As the anaesthetic is released through a controlled, computerized system, the patient will not feel the painful pressure from the anaesthetic liquid when it enters the gum. The speed of delivery is uniform every visit as it is released by the computer.

The Wand® can be extremely helpful when treating young children. Due to its appearance (which actually looks like a plastic wand) and its slow delivery of anaesthetic liquid, most children do not notice that they are being numbed up. 

We avoid trigger words such as “needle” and “pain” when describing the anaesthetic procedure and encourage you to do so as well at home. Using words like “wand to make your teeth go to sleep” or “wand with sleepy juice” assists in keeping the child curious of what is about to happen but also not anxious about the procedure itself or frightened when they feel numb.

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Twilight Dentistry

Twilight dentistry is reserved for patients who are extremely anxious and nervous about the treatment. It involves a medical doctor who will be assisting in sedating you while you undergo dental treatment. Sedation is through IV medications. It is different to general anesthesia as you are still conscious, but in a dream-like state through the procedure. After the procedure and when IV medications have been ceased, you won’t remember the procedure itself, just like you don’t remember what you have dreamed of the previous night.

Twilight dentistry is pain-free and safe option for anxious patient who need to undergo dental procedures. It can be used for simple procedures such as placement of fillings or for complex, long procedures such as extractions or root canal treatment. If you have a complex treatment which will require a very long and multiple visits, you can consider twilight dentistry to assist you to finish all the treatments in one or two visits.



As always, your safety and the safety of our team is our priority.

The Team at Lumina Dental are maintaining full safety measures in accordance with ADA and NSW Health Guidelines.

This means that we are doing the following:

• Limiting the numbers in the clinic at any time
• Conducting a COVID-19 questionnaire and screening
• Patient temperature checks
• Hand sanitiser, wipes, sprays and washes at all points of contact including at the entry to the clinic
• Regular deep cleaning of communal areas
• All patients are treated with pre-procedural mouth rinses