Sitting back in the dentist’s chair, Caitlyn tried to relax as the sharp pinch of the needle went through her jaw. “You’re handling this really well,” Dr. Goodwin said approvingly. I’ve seen grown men jump out of the chair from this shot. You didn’t even wince.” Caitlyn tried to smile up at him but wasn’t sure whether she managed to or not, as her lips were quite numb. “Fanks,” she mumbled.
“We’ll be back in 15 minutes, to give the painkiller time to work. This is a quick procedure, and we’ll have you out of here in about an hour.”
Caitlyn leaned back and flipped through a magazine, trying not to feel nervous. Soon, she found she couldn’t focus on the magazine. She put it down and turned on the TV. Superfreak was playing in the background of a popular sitcom. “She’s a very kinky girl… the kind you don’t take home to Mother.” She found herself singing along, giggling at the audacity of the song.
A few minutes later, the dentist and his two assistants returned into the room. Their mouths dropped. “Er, Caitlyn, would you please have a seat so we can begin the procedure?”
Caitlyn was very surprised. “I’m not sitting?” she slurred.
“No, Caitlyn,” said the dentist, trying unsuccessfully not to laugh. “In fact, you are standing on the chair, dancing. Please get down; it’s dangerous.”
“I’m dancing?” Caitlyn looked down. Sure enough, she was standing on the chair, arms swaying, knees bouncing. “Oh. I’m sorry. I can’t get Superfreak out of my head.” She began giggling uncontrollably. “It’s such a bad song. I should have a good song in my head.” She concentrated, trying to think of a less offensive song. One from church camp popped into her mind. “This little light of mine…I’m gonna let it shine!”
“That’s really nice, Caitlyn, but we need you to sit down now. Are you feeling all right? It’s a bit unusual for this medication to have such strong side effects.” The assistants helped her down from the chair and gently pushed her into a sitting position.
“I feel great,” slurred Caitlyn. “Really great. My mouth is numb now. Let’s get this over with.”
“Okay….” said the dentist.
Caitlyn only had very hazy recollections of the oral surgery. She remembered clapping her hands and cheering for the dental team each time a tooth came out. She remembered the warm and salty taste of blood in her mouth. After all four wisdom teeth were removed, the dentist stuffed the corners of her mouth with gauze and went to check on another patient. Caitlyn looked at the tray next to her. There, amid bloody instruments, were her teeth. She picked them up, one by one, and looked at them proudly. How large they were! The cavities in each were really very slight. If she washed the blood off, they would be quite presentable.