I (ME) had a filling (well, a reconstruction of a filling) done with NO novacaine. NONE. I am petrified of the dentist. Here's how it went:
I went for a consultation with Dr. Deanna Geddo. I walked into her office, which smelled of aromatherapy. There was classical music playing. I sat in the cushy chair in the "waiting room" and had my jacket taken by the receptionist, and was poured a cup of cranberry tea.
When I went into the dental room, she greeted me at the door, with a big smile, taking both my hands in hers and saying "Hello sweetie." (In a motherly way, not a creepy way). She had me tell her about my previous dental experiences that had made me petrified of the dentist, told me that no, I would not need oral surgery to correct my bite (as 2 other dentists had told me), and expressed great concern over the amount of mercury in my mouth. She ASKED if she could look in my mouth. ASKED. She looked at my teeth with only a mirror - NO pointy things :-).
Before I left, we did (don't laugh) mouth yoga and relaxation for about 20 minutes. It was this whole thing!! Crazy!
So, the other day I went back to have a full exam, and to have the filling filled. Again, music, tea, aromatherapy. When I got into the dental chair this time, prior to doing the filling she said "I don't think this tooth will require anesthetic." I almost got up and left RIGHT there. No drugs?? I'm OUT of here!! I restrained myself though. She put on the music, sprayed lavendar aromatherapy, and pulled out the materials. She had me a)Hold a mirror to watch, b)Hold bells so that I could shake it if anything hurt at all and c) Control the suctiony thing when I wanted it.
She would not drill unless I was exhaling and loudly saying "Haaaaaahhhh." And she would only touch my teeth one second at a time. This is the first time in my life that a drill has touched my teeth and not hurt every second it was there. Crazy. She counted out loud for when she would touch with the drill. When I experienced pain with the drill at one point (rang my bells!), she immediately stopped and changed drills. They have other drills that don't hurt as much!! I didn't know this! It was a slower, larger drill that was less likely to cause sensitivity because it was so slow.
So, in total, I used the bells 3 times. She drilled and filled the broken filling, and filed down the tooth above it (with a drill).
THEN when we were done, she left the room and came back with a steaming, lavendar-scented towel and told me to take off my glassses. She wrapped my face in the towel, turned up the music and told me to stay as long as I liked, then left the room.
Was I at a spa or the dentist?? And I have to say, it was really nice to leave the dentist with a fully functional mouth that wasn't frozen and groggy. Not that i'm loving the idea of no novocaine, but...Apparently if you are really pannicy and high-anxiety, novocaine won't "take" because the nerves are contracted and won't let it in. This explains why I still had pain after three needles of freezing the last time I was at the dentist (and petrified).
Just had to share my spa/dental experience.