But what about the ancient people? How the hell could they stand having their teeth pulled off, or any other surgery for that matter?!
Anesthesia as we know it began to be developed in 1842, by the North American dentists Horace Wells and William Thomas Green Morton, who started to use ether and nitrous oxide (laughing gas) to knock down and/or prevent their patients from feeling pain.
However, before that, medicine doctors and dentists used substances like opium, plants like henbane and mandrake, as well as wine. Assyrians used to compress the carotid of the patient until he/she passed out, then began the procedure. Hippocrates, the "father of medicine", used a soporific sponge, embedded with wine, opium, henbane and mandrake to knock out his patients, putting it under their nose. In Medieval Europe, it was common to knock down the patient with a wooden bowl. They also used magic and prays when someone needed surgery. I don't think it worked very often! Furthermore, up until the 16th century, doctors used ice and snow to freeze the parts of the patient's body before surgery. Hypnosis was also used, sometimes.
Thank heavens for modern medicine!