Anybody who has seen the movie “Marathon Man” will undoubtedly remember the famous scene where evil dentist Dr. Mengele drilled through Dustin Hoffman’s teeth and into the nerves below in order to extract some information. That scene alone probably instilled a fear of dentist’s into countless people but it would seem from a recent article that this fear could also be a part of our genetic makeup.
Luckily, there are many things dentists can do to help terrified patients, such as cultivating a gentle bedside manner and keeping frightening-looking instruments out of sight.
According to the author of the article, Isabelle Z, there could be a few reasons why some people suffer from this irrational fear of dentists including:
– A bad childhood experience
– Horror stories about dental visits from parents and relations
– Excessive and illogical fear of pain which can be inherited
While having a fear of the dentist or doctor may have had some validity in years gone it is now totally irrational. Thanks to scientific, medical and technological advances a visit to the dentist is now a painless affair with minor discomfort the worst that can be expected. As the article states it is a matter of “adopting attitudes towards dentists”. There is nothing to fear and a lot to smile about compared to just a few decades ago unless, of course, your dentist is a certain Dr. Mengele…
Isabelle Z’s article can be found online at