Hero British troops ‘terrified of dentist’ and would rather face combat

British troops are more scared of the dentists than fighting in combat, a new study has revealed.

The prospect of having a filling or a rotten tooth extracted has left some battle-hardened squaddies needing therapy.

Up to 30% of service personnel have a fear of going to the dentist, compared to up to 20% of the public.

The report states that dental phobia can occur at any time during a service person’s career irrespective of rank. And the Daily Star Sunday has learned that even the SAS are not immune.

One serving member of the regiment said: “One thing guaranteed to turn even the most battle-hardened warrior into a nervous wreck is a trip to the dentist.

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“I have seen guys who have fought in hand-to-hand combat with insurgents in Iraq come out of the dentist soaked in sweat and vowing never to go back.

“Troops are definitely more scared of the dentist than combat – no doubt.”

The problem is so severe among new recruits that dentists are suggesting they may need therapy to overcome their anxiety and those who fail to respond to treatment could be medically discharged.

Other troops who struggle to face going to the dentist could also be medically downgraded, meaning they would be unable to deploy on operations

The report in the British Medical Journal adds that it is feared “phobic” patients deployed on operations whose fighting ability is impaired by dental problems quickly become a risk to themselves and their colleagues.

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