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Sedation Dentistry


Are you or your child afraid of the dentist? Does your child have trouble sitting still? Are you concerned that they may have a bad experience? Don't worry! You're not alone. Most people have a healthy fear of the dentist and it's nothing to be ashamed of.

There are several methods of sedation offered by our Happy Teeth dentists. These medications will cover everything from "mild anxiety" to "God, help me. I'd rather put up with this excruciating pain than go to the dentist." Let your Dallas/Fort Worth/Mesquite dentist know how you or your children feel and we'll be happy to recommend an appropriate sedation plan.

Building a trusting relationship between the patient and dentist can alleviate much of the anxiety related to dental treatment. Distractions can also be really helpful. That's why all treatment operatories at Happy Teeth Dental Centers have TV's positioned on the ceiling so when you're lying back, you have something other than your fear to focus on.

When working with kids, so much of their fear can be alleviated by the way our dentists speak with your children. Happy Teeth dentists use a combination of positive encouragement, distractions, breathing exercises, and the "show-tell-do" to help keep kids comfortable and relaxed.

However, sometimes this isn't enough. Some people are born with an innate fear of doctors. Some people have had a bad experience in the past that has led them to the point where they need a little help in getting their treatment done. Sometimes the extent or amount of treatment may influence the doctor to suggest or patient to request sedation in order to have an easier and more relaxing experience.

Nitrous Oxide or Inhalation Sedation

Gone are the days where we deal with the pain and stress of dental work by gripping the chair. Sedation in dentistry has completely changed the practice for the better and has changed the way people feel about getting dental work. At Happy Teeth Dental Centers, we believe patients shouldn't have to suffer through a procedure if they don't want to.

Also known as "Laughing Gas", Nitrous Oxide is a gas that is inhaled through a rubber nosepiece. It's the easiest and safest method used to sedate patients in the dental setting. Nitrous oxide is mixed with Oxygen at varying levels to produce a state of relaxation and when set at the right level, most fear-inducing dental procedures seem like a breeze.

After a couple minutes of being on nitrous oxide, most people naturally and uncontrollably give the doctor a BIG smile. That smile is our signal that the gas has started to take effect. After adjusting the setting to the perfect level for your comfort, your dentist will begin the procedure.

Many people report a supreme sensation of relaxation, a feeling of floating, pleasurable tingling sensations throughout their body, and a dulling of painful senses. It's true that some people start to laugh excessively but that happens less often than you'd think.

Patients are still fully awake and aware of their surroundings, but the fears that once paralyzed their ability to get their dental work done are now relieved. One of the best aspects to using nitrous oxide as a method for sedation is the fact that it fully wears off after being on 100% oxygen for several minutes. Patients can even drive themselves home afterwards.

It's fully safe for children of all ages and even for kids with asthma. Most Dallas and Fort Worth dentists should have nitrous oxide sedation available for their patients. Happy Teeth Dental Centers also offers deeper levels of sedation 'in house' if needed. Click here to learn more about Enteral Sedation.

Anxiety Relieving Medication or 'Enteral Sedation'

Enteral sedation, by definition, means sedation absorbed by the body through the stomach. Therefore, enteral sedation medications are taken by mouth. Patients are usually still awake though they sometimes fall asleep because they are so relaxed.

All Happy Teeth Dental Center's dentists are level 2 sedation certified with the Texas State Dental Board. This means that all our providers can use a variety of medications in combination with nitrous oxide (laughing gas) for treatment.

Nobody likes being shuffled around from doctor to doctor to get his or her treatment done. This is a great advantage to coming to Happy Teeth Dental Centers, because we do all our sedations 'in house' and it is very rare that the most fearful child will need anything more than enteral sedation to manage their anxiety and behavior.

Enteral sedation is used for a variety of reasons – extensive treatment, kids who are crying or have other behavioral issues, and people who are just gripped by fear.

Enteral sedation medications are usually a liquid for kids and a pill for adults and are taken orally. Patients take the medication on an empty stomach. 15 to 30 minutes after drinking the cocktail of medicine, patients feel super-relaxed, groggy, and sometimes tired. Kids are very calm when we bring them back for treatment and the entire process usually goes quicker and is more successful when people relax and let the dentist perform their craft.

It is an extremely safe procedure. The chances of having a negative reaction are documented as 1 in 76,000. Even if a patient is over-sedated, the effects can be easily reversed with a counteracting drug.

If you'd like to learn more about enteral sedation as an option for dental treatment, come in for a consultation. All our locations take same-day appointments and we'd be happy to work with your schedule.

On the rare occasion that you or your child need more than the laughing gas or enteral sedation, we would be happy to refer you to an appropriate provider for general anesthesia.

General Anesthesia or IV Sedation

Happy Teeth Dental Centers doesn't offer general anesthesia as a service however we would be happy to provide our patients with a referral to an appropriate provider for this service.