A few years ago I broke a tooth - a lower molar. My dentist said it probably needed a crown, but I could survive without one, and he didn't seem inclined to take it further than that, so we let it be.
My new dentist, though, was not, and insisted on scheduling an appointment ASAP, even though I'm going out of town in two weeks. The lab will just have to make the permanent crown faster!
I went in this morning for the first and grizzlier of the appointments. This was my first dental operation ever without the benefit of either nitrous or some pill likewise designed to calm and relax, and it may have been the absence of that, rather than increased age alone, that caused me to feel completely wiped out after two hours of being orally mauled. (My last operation in the chair was a root canal under nitrous five years ago, after which I hopped out of the chair feeling just fine.)
On the other hand, this dentist has two innovations for the patient's use that I haven't seen before and which were quite successful. First, industrial-style sunglasses (the kind that cover the sides of the frames). Previously I spent most of the time in the chair with my eyes shut so as to not get anything in them. Second, a plastic device to bite down on to ease the strain of keeping one's mouth wide open. This also saves wear and tear on the dentist who doesn't have to keep telling the patient to open.
At least that part's over, leaving but a searing memory, and a bill (my new insurance, the one which forced me to change dentists in the first place, is limited in how much of this it covers).