I Hate the Dentist

Not many things make me upset anymore. I am over my fear of the dark. I have never been afraid of heights or horror movies. I am not afraid of snakes, spiders, or insects. The one thing I am truly petrified of is going to the dentist. I absolutely hate the dentist. When my mom tells me I have a dentist appointment in a couple days, my stomach drops. It has not stopped since I was a little boy either. As I continued to get older, I began to hate the check ups more and more. The day of an appointment I will wake up with a sick feeling in my stomach and will act like a little girl once I get there. A particular bad memory is when the assistant was digging in the back of my mouth, and after I told her to take a break, I vomited all over her. It was a truly traumatic experience. So the question is… why is it that going to the dentist is so commonly hated amongst people around the world? The people are all nice, and they do try and treat their patients with care so why do they receive so much hate?

Personally, I am the only one in my family that has trouble with the dentist. According to Jelly Share, many reasons why people hate the dentist is due to the anxiety of maybe having a cavity, or having to get a tooth pulled. Some other reasons are fear of needles and drills. Dental care related fear is very common, affecting 10 to 20 percent of adults in the United States, causing sometimes complete avoidance of dental care in general.

Recently researchers have hypothesized that the reason why children have fear and anxiety over the dentist is mostly due to their parents. It is an obvious fact that a child is going to be influenced by their parents behavior. My dad is not afraid of the dentist, and whenever he would bring me for my appointment, I would feel much more comfortable knowing that he was only right outside. My mom on the other hand was totally different. Like myself, she despises the dentist and gets nervous when she gets there. This could be where my fear comes from.



According to the article on Science Daily, psychology researchers at the University of West Virginia found that part of the reason that there is anxiety due to dental care is because of genetic influences inherited from parents. This is the first study that could suggest that fear of the dentist could be due to genetic factors. Cameron Randall and Daniel McNiel later in the article reported that the genes that influence for of pain likely also influence fear caused by going to the dentist. This finding is important to better understand what the causes dental fear and phobia. Clearly, the anxiety that goes along with going to the dentist affects many people from all ages. The more studies and research that is done concerning this issue, the more we can learn what the best way is to make people like me not fear the dentist anymore.




Picture: http://www.stepbystep.com/how-to-overcome-fear-of-the-dentist-23794/

6 thoughts on “I Hate the Dentist

  1. Katherine Guerney

    I think that your blog is really interesting. I’m not really afraid of the dentist, I don’t like going there, but it doesn’t give me anxiety. However, I do know some people who are really afraid of going to the dentist or to the doctors office. I found it really interesting that the fear could be due to genetic factors and parental behavior. I found this article which explains the different reasons people are afraid of going to the doctors. It brought up an interesting point about how when you go to the dentist the experience may be too personal, which is why some people are afraid. It also mentions that one bad experience can make someone fearful of all types of doctors. At the end of the article it talks about some things to do if you are fearful, which I thought may be interesting for you to read.

  2. Dhaam Sakuntabhai

    I definitely used to hate going to the dentist because it is very painful when you need to take out your teeth and all. However, personally I do not think that going with my mom or dad would make any differences. Here is a study that talks about dental phobia which I found very interesting; http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/basics/dental-visits/article/what-is-dental-anxiety-and-phobia
    The findings were 36% of around 30-40 million of people do not go to dentist because of fear. This topic is certainly a very good point and you did a great job in talking about it. However, don’t you think they would be much more confounding variables other than genetics or parents?

  3. Michael Gerard Shevlin

    As a kid I was never scared of the dentist. I knew that my mom would be in the room with me and that I’d get a goodie bag when I was done; plus the dentist was a really funny guy as well as a family friend. Not to mention I was always there with my sisters, so if they could do it I could do it too. Then I turned 18 years old and realized I was going to have to start going to the dentist by myself, which honestly scared me quite a bit. The idea of going in there alone to get my mouth stabbed and drilled by a new dentist who was not as funny as the last one scared me. I found an article that explains how our sense of fear changes as we age, which could explain my newly found fear of the dentist https://www.quora.com/Anxiety-Why-do-people-fear-more-as-they-get-older

  4. Hannah Katherine Morrissey

    This blog post was a very intriguing read. I have always wondered myself why people have certain “odd” fears. For instance, I am deathly afraid of spiders (or just bugs in general), but I’ve never had a scarring experience with spiders or bugs that I can attribute this fear to. Looking further into this topic, I found an article that attributes the infamous fear of spiders and other “creepy crawlers” to the history, geography, and even culture of certain people.

  5. Hannah Marni Stern

    I can’t really decide if I’m scared of the dentist or not, but this article definitely got me thinking. I would add that another possible third variable to fear would be sensitivity, which is probably what I identify with most. In other words, the pain that I get when the dentist scrapes and pokes around, along with the discomfort of having my mouth open for a prolonged period is why I don’t look forward to going to the dentist. This medical catalog (http://www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/Publications/Files/patient_33.pdf?la=en) lays out all of the symptoms and treatments for sensitive teeth. I would be interested to see a randomized controlled experiment where one group goes through some sensitivity treatment before going to the dentist to see if their fear goes down.

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