The novelist Martin Amis has coined a new term for the dread and fear of the dentist's dark workings: Horrorism. In a moving, and sometimes unsettling essay, published in this week's Observer, he describes the pain and terror of his own experiences in the dentist's chair. "Of course there is a terror of going to the dentist, just as there is anxiety and then terror when you hear the first howl of the wolves in the Siberian wastes. The "horror" is reserved for when the wolves are upon you, the death-drill of the dentist, the squirt of blood, and the pat-pat-pat of fang-shrapnel. It is always horrible." Martin Amis' teeth are 12 years old.