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Dr. McElroy is thick-skinned. Most dentists have to be because so many people won’t have anything to do with them. No matter how friendly or reassuring or competent the dentist is—and Dr. McElroy is all of the above—these people simply cannot overcome their fear of all things dental. Dr. McElroy and his team at Smiles by Design understand, but we also know that if you haven’t seen the dentist in a long time then your oral, dental and even general health might be paying the price. That’s why you need to schedule a visit with Dr. McElroy, the sedation dentist in Encinitas.

What is a Sedation Dentist?

As a sedation dentist in Encinitas, Dr. McElroy is a certified member and graduate of the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation. He is trained to help fearful and anxious patients have the dental treatments they need with the aid of sedation. Dr. McElroy is certified to provide two different types of sedation dentistry: nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation. Depending on your level of fear or anxiety, Dr. McElroy will be able to select the type of sedation that is appropriate for you.

Dental Care with Nitrous Oxide

Some of our patients at Smiles by Design manage to get themselves to our office despite their anxiety, but then once they arrive those “abdominal butterflies” take flight! If this is you, then Dr. McElroy is likely to recommend nitrous oxide. Also known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide settles your nerves and creates an overall feeling of calm and relaxation throughout the body.

Once you’re seated in the exam chair, we’ll place a small plastic mask over your nose. As you breathe normally, a measured amount of nitrous oxide and oxygen are inhaled. In a matter of seconds, the gas enters your system and you begin to feel more tranquil. Then, when your appointment is over, the mask is removed and the effects wear off in a minute or two so you can go about your normal daily tasks.

Oral Conscious Sedation in Encinitas

For our patients whose dental fears are little more serious, there is oral conscious sedation. With this treatment, Dr. McElroy prescribes a mild sedative pill that you’ll take at a designated time before your appointment. Taking a sedative, of course, prohibits you from driving so you will need to ask a friend or relative to transport you to and from our office. During your appointment, you will be conscious so Dr. McElroy and his team can talk to you. However, many patients feel as if they’ve slept right through their dental care.

For a Sedation Dentist in Encinitas, Call Dr. McElroy

To learn more about sedation dentistry or to schedule a long overdue visit with the dentist, contact Smiles by Design in Encinitas, CA.


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Encinitas Dentist for Teeth Cleanings, Pain-Free Dental Care, Gum Treatment, Dentures, Dental Implants, Invisalign, Teeth Whitening, Veneers, & More – Serving Encinitas, Carlsbad, San Marcos, Vista, Oceanside, Solana Beach, Del Mar, Rancho Santa Fe, Escondido & San Diego, CA

Your Top-Rated Dentist in Encinitas, CA

"This is a fantastic Dentist, McElroy and the associates in the office are amazing. Our daughters enjoy every time they are here. Very good practice, highly suggested!!"

- Cody H.

"I would definitely recommend Smiles By Design dental office to anyone who is looking for a personable, honest, thorough, and professional dentist. Dr. McElroy and his staff make you feel so comfortable, you forget you are at the dentist!! Highly recommend!"

- Kelly C.

"Had my first appointment at McElroy smiles by design, and the staff was so friendly and informative. It was an enjoyable experience and I plan on going back in the future."

- Isaac W.

"Thanks to everyone in the office! Great service and very punctual. Dr.McElroy is a wonderful dentist, he is very professional and friendly. He does what it takes to do the job perfectly— even if it requires extra time. I needed a lot of work when I first came to the office, but now when its all done, I love the outcome and my new smile! I am stoked!!"

- Wera S.

*The reviews listed are from actual patients of McElroy Smiles. Individual results may vary. Reviews are not claimed to represent results for everyone.

What To Expect On Your First Visit

Dr. McElroy is excited to provide you a $99 new patient special!


Discuss Your Goals With Dr. McElroy


Thorough Exam & Professional Cleaning


Digital X-Rays


Discuss Your Potential Treatment Options


Bonus: Free copy of Dr. McEroy’s Book