i was told my oldest needed to be knocked out and have a bunch of work done. we were getting ready to schedule it and everything, and i finally thought to ask, "what would happen if we didn't do this?"
the dentist made hemming and hawing noises, but she finally admitted that if he wasn't in pain and the teeth weren't causing damage, they would just look ugly until they fell out.
well, hell! i can live with that! a few years of ugly teeth later, and now my kids still aren't at all leery of dentists.
we were also told that they all needed orthodonture, and i've left it up to each kid to decide if s/he wants to go forward with the work. so far, none of them have chosen to do it (i was FORCED, physically, to have dental and orthodonture work done to me when i was young, and i still hate dentists... haven't been to one for over 15 years).
i know this won't work for everyone (especially if your little one is in pain) but i just wanted to encourage folks to not necessarily go with everything a professional recommends.... ask what would happen if you chose not to do the procedure.