(The good news this time was that I had no new cavities and, except for one area, my gums are back to what they consider "normal". The bad news was that I'd apparently lost a filling without noticing it, and had another that had cracked and "needed spackling". For the latter one, the dentist decided it didn't need any painkiller. He was mostly correct.)
The building the dental practice occupies is in the final stages of being extensively renovated; the parts that are done look very nice indeed. (They're supposed to be done by Christmas, but both the hygenist last week and the dental assistant this week rolled their eyes and laughed at that idea.) As I was sitting there waiting for the novocaine to kick in, this unearthly loud drilling noise started up. And continued on and off (mostly on), throughout most of the procedure.
One of the clerical staff was nice enough to come by and inform me that no, the noise wasn't a dentist at work; rather, the workmen doing the renovations had to run a cable through the concrete floor and thus were making all the noise.
It's the stereotypical dentist's office joke (all that's missing is the screaming & wailing from behind a door), but still, that's just the sort of noise you don't want to hear when you're waiting to get your teeth drilled...
Feudalism: Serf & Turf