Most people don’t like going to the dentist.

Most people had bad experiences when they were younger. The doctor worked on them when they weren’t numb or without anesthesia. Because of that, just coming into the office makes them tense and brings back bad memories. Don’t beat yourself up about it, you’re trying to overcome a protective reflex that helps keep you safe and out of harmful situations.

That being said, you know you should come, and you want to come, but you need some help to relax.

At Dulac Dental we will do everything we can to make you comfortable. 

We have the following comfort aids:

  1. Pillows. If you relax your neck, you will feel more at ease.
  2. Blankets. If you’re cold or want something fuzzy to wrap up in we have you covered.
  3. Weighted blankets. I wish I would have thought to market those, we’ve been using the Xray vest as a weighted blanket for years.
  4. Sun glasses. It’s always good to have eye protection, why not use polarized glasses to block out the glare of the dental light.
  5. Ear plugs. A lot of people don’t like the sound of the drill. We have ear plugs.
  6. Head phones. If ear plugs aren’t for you, we have head phones and the iPhone adapter too. You can listen to whatever you want. 

We also have drugs!

  1. Take 1000mg Tylenol (acetaminophen) and 800 mg ibuprofen (Motrin, advill) 1 hour prior to coming in. This will greatly decrease peripheral pain sensation and help put you at ease. (If you cant take one of those just take the other, but they work in different ways and will work best together.)  The anti-inflammatory effect of the 800 Motrin will also help with post operative discomfort, which is mostly due to inflammation. We have these in the office. Ask if you want some.
  2. Nitrous oxide. We have “laughing gas” at the office.  It doesn’t interfere with any medications, is totally safe to drive afterwards, and really takes the edge off. My wife describes it as the difference between being at the dentist and sitting in the sun with a cocktail. The only contraindication to laughing gas is recent eye surgery (within a month).  The main benefit of the gas is it’s safe to drive after and can be adjusted easily and is very safe. Gas is around $90 for the first half hour (we use all single use tubing), and $40 thereafter. Insurance coverage on nitrous is rare, but some do.
  3. Benzodiazepines. (Valium, Xanax etc). If laughing gas isn’t for you or your get nervous even thinking about coming in or need help sleeping the night before, Dr Dulac can prescribe you something to take the edge off. For this we recommend a driver.
  4. Conscious sedation and general anesthesia. Unfortunately in Virginia, combining nitrous plus “benzos” is considered a sedation. Dr Dulac has had training in conscious sedation and has performed it, but for your safety, prefers to bring in an anesthesiologist for outpatient sedition and general anesthesia. This is an expensive service in northern Virginia, the cost of anesthesia is around $3000 for a board certified anesthesiologist to bring in all the equipment, but it’s an option. For this reason, if you prefer to be sedated for oral surgery, Dr Dulac will refer you to an oral surgeon who can deliver the anesthesia and perform the surgery (around $250/15 min). 

We try to be as gentle as possible and create a warm and welcoming atmosphere. We use numbing gels and creams. We warm our anesthetic and inject slowly to try to give a painless injection. I will never work on you if you’re not numb. Just remember you’re in control of the procedure, if you raise your hand, I will stop right away. Please let us know if there’s anything we can do to make you more comfortable. Some of my patients call me “Dr Pillow Fingers.” We truly do try to do everything we can to make it the best experience possible.