Went to the dentist this AM. I have dental "issues" and all I can say is "Thank goodness for Novocaine". As I lay there drooling and talking to Susan, the dental hygenist, she told me a couple of interesting tidbits:
i) approximately 30% of the population visit the dentist annually. That means 70% visit the dentist only when there is a problem. What's this say about our society and preventive medicine -- as well as the public perception of dentists :-)

ii) Novocaine -- was invented in the early 1800's

iii) The dental hygenist job is contrary to popular opinion -- not to inflict pain

iv) The US leads the world in dental care