Next Halloween, parents may suggest their kids dress up as dentists as according to research out of England, dental care practitioners are some of the scariest creatures on the planet. As a matter of fact, visiting the dentist causes more anxiety than a fear of snakes or spiders.
In America, estimates suggest that approximately 15 percent of the population (over 45 million people) suffer from dental phobias including dental fear or dental anxiety (The Anxiety Disorders Association of America). Some common dental phobias include belonephobia (fear of needles), fear of embarrassment from having poor dental health, fear of pain and apprehension over drilling (used to create dental fillings) and fear of gagging. This apprehension also exists across the pond and as a result, survey respondents voted the fear of the dentist their number one agitation.
About the Study
The British Dental Health Foundation questioned what made over 1,000 study participants nervous in the form of the Adult Dental Health Survey. Survey takers were asked to list their top fears from a list that included categories such as heights, flying, injections, doctors, snakes, spiders, hospital visits and dentist appointments (MedicalNewsToday.com). One out of five ranked going to the dentist as one of the most objectionable fear.
The fear of the dentist was triggered by two of the most common dental treatments. Three out of ten survey participants (totaling 30 per cent) cringed at the thought of tooth drilling. Nearly an equal amount of 28 percent reported dental anxiety surrounding getting an injection of a local anesthetic (Adult Dental Health Survey).