"How do I get over my dental anxiety?"

Q: How do I get over my dental anxiety?

A: The first thing you must realize is that you are not the only one to be afraid of the dentist. The key is to identify the specific sources of your fears and think of ways to overcome those sources. You don’t have to do this alone. Speak to your dentist openly about your anxiety. You may also decide to get help from a therapist or counselor. The important thing to remember is that the choice of what to do is ultimately up to you. You decide whether or not to go to the dental office. You decide what procedures will take place with the guidance of your dentist. Also remember that you have to power to communicate any discomfort you experience during a procedure. You can take actions such as raising your hand to alert your dentist to stop treatment for a moment if needed.

Pharmaceutical options also exist to deal with your anxiety. Things like Valium and Nitrous oxide can help ease your anxiety during dental treatment.

Talk with your dentist to discuss ways of making your dental visit more comfortable for you. Just remember that avoiding the dentist is not the answer. Avoidance today can mean larger dental problems in the long run. These larger problems will often be more costly and involve more time in the dental chair.

Please remember that you are not alone in your fears. Tell your dentist what your issues are so that he or she will be better able to find solutions.

Dr. Natalie Khadavi sees patients in the Los Angeles area. Visit our website or give us a call at (310) 482-3971 for more information about how we can provide you and your family with healthy smiles that last a lifetime.

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