There was a molar in the far corner, propped sideways in the x-ray like a toppled Easter Island moai. Wedged under the neighbouring tooth that it had rammed. It had to come out.
Sustained drilling and crunching noises. Extended prising and leveraging by the dentist and his assistants. Four faces crowding your vision until you scrunched your eyes and gave over to the role of passive object. It sounded and felt like a titanic struggle. You couldn’t stop gripping the chair supports with all your might, salivating fear like a street dog at the vet’s pinned down for an injection.
When it was out and the hole in your gum sutured, the dentist, speaking through his mouth-mask, advised you not to stay up so late so as to give your immune system plenty of chance. And try not to smoke, he said. Apparently no question in his mind that you might be the non-smoking early-to-bed-early-to-rise type. He was considerate enough to add that as you’re “a little bit old” it will take longer for the hole to heal itself.
That said, the service was friendly and professional. They kept you informed every step of the way. It was white and clean and high-tech. You could have been a patient in the Star Trek sick bay.
Perhaps he was right. You have been short on sleep. It’s time to take your aching and still numb half-jaw off to bed.
Eat nothing hard
Nothing deep-fried or spicy
And don’t smoke