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Advertisement for Mr Smedley’s Dental Surgery 1913 L0040514 Wellcome Images
Research studies suggest that fear of going to the dentist is a learned condition, related to previous experiences in the dentist’s chair. Dentophobia there- fore has more in common with post-traumatic stress disorder than other irrational fears. American president Abraham Lincoln is said
to have developed a fear of going to the dentist after undergoing a botched tooth extraction in 1841. When the statesman needed another tooth removed two decades later, he allegedly popped a container of chloroform out of his pocket and inhaled deeply before allowing the dentist to start work.
Mole paws used to protect against toothache RRa0158 / 1985.51.361 Pitt Rivers Museum