What comfort aids are available for patients at Dulac Dental?

We want our patients to be comfortable in our office. We provide a number of comfort aids including blankets, pillows, stress balls, noise canceling headphones, and sunglasses. If you're concerned about pain, I usually suggest taking some Motrin or Tylenol before your appointment.

What options are available for patients who want more than comfort aids?

For patients who need additional comfort, we have two options for anxiolysis or ‘taking the edge off’. The first is nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas. Alternatively, I can prescribe medications such as Dazal, Valium, or Xanax.

Is laughing gas safe?

Yes, nitrous oxide is completely safe and does not interfere with any medications. The only exception would be if a patient has had recent eye surgery within the last month. This gas is safe enough to use for children and is an effective way to ease anxiety. After using nitrous oxide, patients are also safe to drive as it does not interfere with their abilities.

What precautions should be taken when using Valium or Xanax?

If patients are prescribed Valium or Xanax, they should arrange for someone else to drive them to and from their appointment. These medications may cause drowsiness and we want to ensure our patients' safety.

What are the other sedation options available at Dulac Dental?

Beyond anxiolysis, we offer oral sedation and intravenous (IV) sedation. Oral sedation involves taking a couple of different pills and is not currently offered in our office due to the potential for over or under sedation. For IV sedation or general anesthesia, we can bring in a board-certified anesthesiologist. These options are commonly used in conjunction with wisdom teeth extractions.

What is the difference between IV sedation and general anesthesia?

With IV sedation, patients will still respond to commands and breathe on their own, but won't remember anything afterwards. With general anesthesia, patients are completely unconscious and a machine assists with their breathing.

What is the goal with the use of sedation at Dulac Dental?

Our ultimate goal is to create a comfortable environment where patients feel at ease without the need for sedation. Over time, many of our patients find they no longer need any form of sedation.

How can patients reach out if they are interested in sedation dentistry or have any questions?

You can contact our office at (703) 451-4500 if they have any questions or are interested in exploring sedation dentistry options.

Many patients suffer from dental fear or anxiety and would prefer to be sedated for dental procedures. We have a number of options to make your dental experience as pleasant as possible.

We always have available pillows, blankets, weighted blankets, stress balls, earplugs, and earbud headphones. Dr. Dulac also allows friends and family members in the room if you prefer someone present for moral support. And Dr. Dulac will never work on you unless you are completely numb. Our goal is to provide a pain-free experience.

Additionally we have a number of medications that can be administered or prescribed for anxiety relief. Dr. Dulac recommends and provides nitrous oxide anxiolysis (“laughing gas”). Nitrous is a safe and effective way to take the edge off of any procedure. It’s a very safe and effective way to relax in the office and is entirely safe to drive home yourself after the procedure.

Finally, if you would prefer to be put to sleep to have your dental work done, Dr. Dulac works with a team of anesthesiologists in the area to provide IV sedation and general anesthesia for any dental procedure. The anesthesiologist will review your medical history, to make sure it’s safe for you to have anesthesia in the outpatient setting, and the anesthesiologist will coordinate with Dr. Dulac and your schedule to find a time you can be sedated and have any and all dental work completed. If you’re interested in sedation dentistry, inquire with Dr. Dulac or his staff.

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