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We know how daunting dental treatment can be. Our Dental Phobia certified experts are here to help ease your mind before treatment by answering your questions.

Are There Any Alternatives to Having a Filling with Diazepam?

I’ve been told I have to get a filling next week. I’ve also been told I don’t actually have any cavities – just a very deep molar, there’s some black lines in the fissures.
I am beyond terrified. I’ve always feared a filling. I can’t sleep, and I keep having panic attacks.
I’ve been prescribed 10mg of Diazepam but I was wondering, do you think there is any alternative?

If you have no experience of having a filling then you are afraid of something you have no experience with.
It’s quite irrational to keep having panic attacks over this. Firstly, it’s your imagination that’s caused the distress and anxiety, your thoughts feed the panic. Until the day of the appointment, it would help you if you could practice some techniques to distract your thoughts.
Try to identify what it is you are afraid of. Is it the injection? Are you afraid it will hurt?
The dentist should take care to give the injection in a way that minimises any discomfort and when it works you should feel nothing at all. The drill has a noise, but noise doesn’t hurt, it’s the associations. Perhaps take along an iPod or some music on your phone.The first option is to try these techniques to help your anxiety. 10 mgm of Valium taken about 40 minutes before the treatment works very well for many people. The only alternative is to have intravenous sedation, but that can be difficult to access, or expensive in private practice. Hope this helps, Jenny.

Answer provided by: Dr Jennifer Pinder Retired
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