freelance journalist, print journalist, online journalist, copywriter, content editor, freelance editor, health and lifestyle, blogger Be afraid, be very afraid | Christine Morgan - Journalist
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What makes you quake in your boots? Could it be the thought of being trapped in a confined space? Or how would you like to hold a snake or a spider? There again, perhaps going to the dentist is what makes your heart pound and your palms perspire. Well according to the British Dental Health Foundation, half of adults in the UK (including more women than men, apparently) suffer from moderate to extreme anxiety when they visit the dentist.

And having asked more than a thousand people what makes them the most nervous, more than one in five said going to the dentist. That makes going to the dentist less popular than other common phobias such as snakes and spiders (which, by the way, were rated fourth and fifth respectively). In fact, going to the dentist was the second most popular answer – the top response being heights – followed by going to hospital.

The survey also suggests that dentists make 22 percent of people nervous, as opposed to just two percent of doctors. And the most fear-inducing procedures during a visit to the dentist, says the survey, is having a tooth drilled (30 percent of adults said that makes them very or extremely anxious) and having an anaesthetic injection (28 percent). Well that’s not surprising, is it?

Well I’m no stranger to dental anxiety. I mean, nobody actually likes going to the dentist, do they? The trick to overcoming it is to find a really great dentist who you like and trust. That is, if you’re an NHS patient and can find a dentist at all.