Going back in time, dentists could give nervous patients a general anaesthetic, who would then drift off to sleep and wake up when all the nasty drilling and filling was over. In the 1960s my mother-in-law would actually look forward to going to the dentist, who would always put her to sleep before he did any dental work. She would wake up, pay, and after recovering would walk home not remembering one thing of what had gone on.
Fast forward and it’s now illegal in the UK for dentists to give patients a general anaesthetic. I know, because I’ve been trying to find a suitable one due to the radiotherapy legacy of an over-sensitive mouth and throat causing me much distress (which we don’t need to go into in great detail) in my current dentist’s chair.
At last I found one by trawling the Internet. They are not too far…
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