How are you on a scale of 1 to terrified?

Today I visited the dentist.

It's been three years (at least) since I visited the dentist.

The first thing they asked me to do was fill out a form or my medical history. The best thing about the form was that it also asked me 'how do you feel about the dentist?' with a scale from 'absolutely terrified (1)' to 'very comfortable (10)' - I answered 8.

Is going to the dentist really so terrifying that dentists feel the need to ask everyone?

For some reason, despite the fact that I've had terrible teeth (including a 2 hour in the chair extraction with only local anaesthetic) I feel very comfortable in the dentists chair.

So what is it that makes people so terrified?