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Mandibular Third Molar Tooth
Skeletal System

Mandibular Third Molar Tooth

Dens molaris tertius mandibularis

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Quick Facts

Location: Distal to mandibular second molar tooth.

Eruption: 17 to 21 years (permanent).

Key Features: Crown, root, cusps, and marginal ridges.

Nerve Supply: Inferior dental plexus.

Arterial Supply: Inferior alveolar artery.

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Key Features & Anatomical Relations

The mandibular third molar tooth is one of the three molar teeth that are found in a quadrant of the mandibular dental arcade. It includes the following bony features:

- parts: crown, root, and cervical line;

- surfaces: buccal, lingual, mesial, distal, and occlusal surfaces;

- landmarks: mesiobuccal, mesiolingual, distobuccal, and distolingual cusps, and marginal ridges.

The mandibular third molar tooth is located distal to the mandibular second molar tooth and is the most distal tooth in a quadrant of the mandibular dental arcade.

The root of the mandibular third molar tooth is lodged in a dental alveolus of the mandible.

Development

The permanent mandibular third molar tooth does not have a deciduous precursor. It undergoes calcification during the eighth to tenth years, with the development of the crown being completed during the twelfth to sixteenth years. Eruption of this tooth occurs during the seventeenth to twenty-first years and the development of the root is completed during the eighteenth to twenty-fifth years (Nelson, 2014).

Function

As with all molars, the mandibular third molar tooth has cusped surfaces and is specialized for the crushing or grinding (comminution) of food during mastication.

References

Nelson, S. J. (2014) Wheeler's Dental Anatomy, Physiology and Occlusion. 10th edn.: Elsevier Health Sciences.

Learn more about this topic from other Elsevier products

Mandibular Third Molar

ScienceDirect image

Removal of a mandibular third molar tooth (M3) is the surgical procedure most commonly associated with injuries to the LN and the inferior alveolar nerve (IAN), with those to the LN occurring less frequently than those to the IAN.

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