In my imagination, I'm in Dr. Lipscome's dental office alone on Staten Island as a 10-year old boy over half a century ago, getting seven cavities filled without Novocaine or a parent present; this is not so uncommon back then, either the shocking lack of sedation as teeth are drilled or the lack of a parent accompaniment, as confirmed by friends my age from the same region. It manifested itself in my psyche when I became an adult as a refusal to go to a dentist unless it was absolutely necessary.
But stuff happens with your teeth. It's even promoted these days that you should go get your teeth cleaned twice a year (!) by persons who scrape sharp-pointed metal prongs around your teeth.
Ever felt that metal pronger touch somewhere on a naked tooth that produces the Jolt even if you are sedated? The sudden pain is enough to catapult you out of your seat.
Now well into the next century, no dentist would go any further when he or she sees you jerk in pain without stopping and shooting you up with more with Novocain, and then waiting for it to take effect. Today I went to the dentist to have three permanent crowns emplaced.