A University of Iowa dentistry professor wrote the book on dental anxiety, or being afraid of dentists. When she was 13, Cindy Marek woke up during dental surgery and developed an immediate fear of dentists. She avoided them for a decade, but eventually overcame the fear and became a professor of oral pathology. Dr. Marek says dental anxiety keeps about ten-percent of Americans from seeing dentists.Dr. Marek says people who don’t see a dentist on a regular basis, at least once a year, often develop a very expensive problem down the road which they can’t afford to have fixed. She says they’re often problems that could’ve been prevented if caught early.Marek wrote a chapter on dental anxiety that’s being published this month in a dentistry textbook, “Treatment Planning in Dentistry,” which she says will be used at the U-of-I and other dental schools across the U-S.
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