Are You Afraid of the Dentist?

I read an interesting article about why middle-aged people don't go to the dentist. The article says it is the cost which is high and many people have no insurance. However, there seems to be a real fear of the dentist involved for some people. Apparently one in five people who doesn't go to the dentist for care is afraid:

Those most likely to get preventive dental care were white women with high incomes or insurance.

Men, blacks, Hispanics and those with low incomes or without insurance were more likely to get dental care for problems only, researchers found.

Among those who got preventive dental care, only 13 percent said they delayed or didn't get dental care when they needed it in the last two years.

Among those who didn't get regular preventive care, 35 percent said they hadn't gotten care when they needed it in the last two years.

Of those who didn't get regular dental care, 69 percent said they couldn't afford it.

In addition, some said they were afraid to see a dentist, didn't have time to go, or couldn't find a dentist.

Among people who didn't see a dentist for care they needed, 1 in 5 said they were afraid of the dentist, Solway said.

Note that it is men, minorities and people with low income who don't get regular preventive care as often. Is this a good idea--to not get regular check-ups? I don't think so. And I say that as someone who has been in pain from a dentist for two years and counting.

I got injured by a dentist two years ago who hit my trigemenial nerve and as a result, I have been in and out of hospitals, doctors offices and facial clinics with no final resolution, though I am better. I understand people being afraid of the dentist but before this experience, I never was. I think that preventative care of one's mouth is important and it can lead to better health for many people.