Are you familiar with the phrase “getting long in the tooth”? Well, at 40 years old, I thought I was pretty long in the tooth already, but apparently, I still had some room for growth – in my mouth, that is.

Recently, I had the pleasure of getting a wisdom tooth extracted, and let me tell you, it was quite the experience. The kind of experience that makes you wonder, “Why now?” and “Who needs wisdom teeth, anyway?”

First of all, let’s talk about the name. Wisdom tooth? Really? I don’t know about you, but I didn’t feel any wiser after getting mine. In fact, I felt downright unfortunate getting it so late. I guess it’s called a wisdom tooth because it’s supposed to come in when you’re wiser and need some new chompers, but it didn’t feel like a very wise decision to have a tooth growing in and pushing my perfectly usable teeth out of the way.

So, there I was – a 40-something-year-old woman with a single wisdom tooth that needed to be extracted. It’s like Mother Nature’s twisted sense of humor. I mean, I’ve already got high blood pressure, vitamin D deficiency despite my religious sunbathing habits, and laugh lines; what’s next, an orthodontic crisis to spice up my midlife?

As I reluctantly scheduled my appointment with the oral surgeon, I couldn’t help but speculate if this tooth had been lying in wait, patiently biding its time for the perfect moment to make its grand entrance. It’s like it knew I was dealing with a lot of stuff already and decided to make it even more interesting. Thanks, wisdom tooth – you’re a real pal.

The big day finally arrived, and the dental assistant led me to the dreaded chair. She handed me a pair of stylish goggles and a bib – this was the height of dental fashion, and honestly, I was feeling rather nervous. Our dentist is a competent and super nice person, and watching them get the room ready made me a little calmer. Then it was time for my numbing and, though it probably wasn’t so, I remember her wielding a needle longer than my arm, and I knew I was in for a treat.

As she numbed my mouth, I thought about all the wise things I could have done instead of growing a rogue tooth – like learning a new language or finally mastering that croissant recipe. But no, my body chose to sprout a wisdom tooth like it was earning a merit badge in dental shenanigans.

My dentist was delighted. Appearently the tooth was in an awkward spot but perfectly situated. Since it just broke through the gums she could see the situation well. Just a bit of jawbone to be drilled away – the noise was horrid but it didn’t hurt – and then you could just pul the tooth out in its entirety. The pulling of the tooth was a rotating an levering sort of feeling. It didn’t hurt but something deep within me was unsettled. Like I made a mistake coming here, and maybe I can become friends with mr wisdom tooth after all. All sorts of horror movies where teeth pulling was a part of, popped in my head and though I was not in pain, I understood on a different level how disturbing these scenes are.

And just like that, it was over. My mouth was a little emptier, my heart a little wiser, and my face a little bruised. But hey, at least I have a great story to tell.

In conclusion, getting a wisdom tooth in your 40s is like receiving a surprise party invitation you never wanted. It’s inconvenient, rather uncomfortable, and leaves you questioning your life choices. But on the bright side, at least it gives you something to laugh about – because if there’s one thing we all need more of in our lives, it’s laughter. Certainly not wisdom teeth.

What do you think?: