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Morphology of Molars - Dental Anatomy

Morphology of Molars - Dental Anatomy

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Published by Nabilah Mohd Yaakob

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Published by: Nabilah Mohd Yaakob on Apr 12, 2011
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05/07/2014

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MORPHOLOGY OF PERMANENT MOLARS

Dental Anatomy & Occlusion Dent 202

Permanent Molars 
Class traits 
  

3 or more cusps At least 2 buccal cusps One or more lingual cusps In general 2 or 3 roots

Maxillary permanent molars 
Arch traits 
 

3 roots: 2 B & 1 L Crown: BL > MD dimension Cusps
‡ 3 major cusps
± ML, MB & DB ± Arranged in a tricuspate-triangular pattern

‡ Lesser-sized DL cusp & sometimes missing 
 

Oblique ridge: ML to DB cusp B cusps are of unequal size ML cusp is larger than DL

Maxillary permanent molars 
Type trait (in general)   



DL cusp reduces in size when going posteriorly & may be missing in 3rd molar 1st molar is the largest & shows the least morphological variation Cusp of Carabelli Roots become more D inclined & much closer when going posteriorly

Maxillary permanent 
Buccal aspect 

st 1

molar 



MB & DB cusps are of equal height MB is wider Separated by B groove
‡ Terminates halfway 



Slopes of DB are steeper Tip of the ML cusp between B cusps

Maxillary permanent 
Buccal aspect 

st 1

molar  

  

M profile is highly convex in occlusal 2/3s M HOC is ¾ the distance from CL to MR Cervical 1/3 is flat or concave D profile is entirely convex D HOC is 3/5 the distance from CL to MR CL is 2 slightly curved segments separated by apical peak

Maxillary permanent 1st molar 
Buccal aspect 

Buccal surface
‡ D surface is visible ‡ Cervical 1/3 is convex ‡ Occlusal 2/3s are flat 

Roots
‡ The 3 roots are visible ‡ B bifurcation is at junction between Cervical & middle 1/3s ‡ Shallow vertical groove in the midline of the B root trunk ‡ MB & DB roots are narrow & incline to each other in the apical 1/3 (type trait) ‡ MB root apex is in line with MB cusp tip (type trait) ‡ The longest L root is visible between the B roots

Maxillary permanent 1st molar 
Lingual aspect 


2 cusps of unequal size ML cusp
‡ Makes 3/5s of MD width of the crown ‡ Prominent & blunt 

DL cusp
‡ Rounded, shorter & narrower ‡ Larger than those of 2nd & 3rd max. molars (type trait) 

L groove
‡ Separates L cusps ‡ Terminates midway of L surface

Maxillary permanent 1st molar 
Lingual aspect 
 

M profile is convex except in the flat C 1/3 D profile is entirely convex L surface
‡ Evenly convex OC ‡ L groove divides L surface into M & D segment ‡ Cusp of Carabelli on M segment (racially variant) 

Roots
‡ The 3 roots are visible ‡ Proximal outline of B roots ‡ L root
± Tapered with blunt apex ± Shallow vertical depression from CL to 2/3s ± L root apex is in line with crown midline (type trait)

Maxillary permanent 1st molar 
Mesial aspect  

  

 

Maximum MD dimension at the cervix of the crown ML is higher than MB cusp B cervical 1/3 is strongly convex B outline continues lingually in a straight line L outline is uniformly convex L HOC is at the midpoint CL is slightly convex occlusally

Maxillary permanent 1st molar 
Mesial aspect 

Mesial surface
‡ M MR is marked by several tubercles & supplementary grooves (type trait) ‡ Contact point is between middle & occlusal 1/3s ‡ Cervical 1/3 is flat or concave ‡ Occlusal 2/3s are convex 

Roots
‡ MB & L roots ‡ MB root is broad BL ‡ L root is narrow & Banana-shaped, curves L then B at the apex ‡ Both MB & L roots project beyond crown profile

Maxillary permanent 
Distal aspect 


st 1

molar  

 

DB cusp is more prominent than DL Only small portions of M cusps are visible (type trait) D MR is shorter & less prominent than M D MR rarely has tubercles B & L profiles are similar to those of M aspect CL is nearly straight

Maxillary permanent 1st molar  Distal aspect 

Distal surface
‡ Uniformly convex 

Roots
‡ 3 roots visible ‡ DB root is shorter & narrower than MB root

Maxillary permanent 1st molar 
Occlusal aspect 
   

Square or rhomboidal MB & DL angles are acute ML & DB angles are obtuse 1/3 of B surface & ½ of L are visible B outline: D part is more L than M part

Maxillary permanent 1st molar 
Occlusal table 

2 distinct components
‡ Trigon
± Bears MB, ML & DB cusps ± Tricuspate triangle

‡ Talon
± Bears DL cusp & D MR ± Located DL to the tricuspate triangle ± Well-developed in 1st molar & undergoes reduction in size in 2nd & 3rd molars

Maxillary permanent 1st molar 
Occlusal table   



Cusps in order of decreasing size: ML, MB, DB & DL M MR is longer & more prominent than D MR Oblique ridge Major Fossae
‡ Central fossa
± Central pit ± B & D grooves ± Central groove

‡ Distal fossa
± D pit ± DL groove which continues as the L groove

Maxillary permanent 
Occlusal table 

st 1

molar

Minor fossae
‡ M triangular fossa
± M pit ± MB & ML supplementary grooves

‡ D triangular fossa
± Distal pit ± DB & DL supplementary grooves

Maxillary permanent 
Pulp 

st 1

molar

MD section
‡ 2 horns, MB is higher ‡ Pulp chamber, roof & floor ‡ Canals, narrow ‡ Canal orifice 

BL section
‡ Pulp chamber is wider ‡ 2 horns of equal height 

X-section
‡ 3 canals

Maxillary permanent 2nd molar 
Buccal aspect (type traits) 
 

Smaller crown size Less prominent DB cusp & narrower MD Distally inclined B roots DL cusp is smaller in width & height L root is narrower MD & slightly D inclined No cusp of Carabelli? 

Lingual aspect 
 

Maxillary permanent 
Mesial aspect 


nd 2

molar

Less numerous MR tubercles MB & L roots are less divergent Smaller D cusps A greater portion of the occlusal aspect is visible 

Distal aspect 


Maxillary permanent 
Occlusal aspect

nd 2

molar

‡ MB & DL angles are more acute ‡ ML & DB angles are more obtuse ‡ Talon is more reduced in size ‡ More variable pit/groove pattern ‡ More numerous supplementary groove ‡ Crown is more constricted MD 

Pulp 

Similar to that of 1st molar

Maxillary 3rd molar 
Buccal aspect (type traits) 
 

Crown is smallest in all dimensions Roots are much short & commonly fused Shows a pronounced distal inclination DL cusp is usually missing L root is commonly fused with the B roots 

Lingual aspect (type traits) 


Maxillary 


rd 3

molar 

Mesial aspect
Crown profile is irregular Fused roots DL cusp is absent More of the occlusal surface is visible compared with 1st & 2nd 

Distal aspect 


Maxillary 

rd 3

molar 

Occlusal aspect (type traits)
Triangular or heart-shaped outline DB cusp is of minimal size Oblique ridge is barely visible Pit/groove pattern is variable Numerous supplementary grooves 

  

Maxillary 3rd molar 
Pulp 

MD section
‡ Large MB horn & small DB horn 

BL section
‡ MB & L horns are of equal prominence 

X- section
‡ Ovoid ‡ Narrow MD

Maxillary 3rd molar

Anatomic variation

Mandibular permanent molars 
Upper & lower molars show progressive reduction posteriorly (human trait)  The 1st to appear of permanent dentition (6 yrs)  Arch traits 
 

 

2 roots; M & D 4 major cusps & 1 lesser-sized 5th cusp (in 1st molars) Crowns broader MD than BL The 2 L cusps are of equal size MB & DB cusps are of equal size

Mandibular permanent 1st molar 
Buccal aspect 
    

Widest MD (type trait) MB, DB & D cusps MB cusp is the widest then DB & D MB & DB are of equal height D cusp is conical located in the DB corner MB & DB grooves

Mandibular permanent 1st molar 
Buccal aspect 

M profile
‡ C 1/3 is straight or concave ‡ Occlusal 2/3s are convex 

 

D profile is entirely convex M & D profiles are convergent cervically CL is similar to that of upper 1st molar Buccal cervical ridge in C 1/3 MB groove ends halfway DB groove extends most of B surface length 

Buccal surface 
 

Mandibular permanent 1st molar 
Buccal surface 

Roots
‡ 2 roots; M & D ‡ Widely separated (type trait) ‡ Share a common trunk that has a shallow vertical depression ‡ Apical half of M root is distally inclined ‡ D root projects distally without curvature

Mandibular permanent 1st molar 
Lingual aspect 

ML & DL cusps
‡ Of equal size ‡ Higher & more conical than B cusps 

 

Lingual groove Narrower MD than B profile M & D profiles
‡ Generally convex except in the straight or concave C 1/3 ‡ Convergent cervically

Mandibular permanent 
Lingual surface 

st 1

molar 

Occlusal 2/3s are convex in both H & V planes Cervical 1/3 is flat or concave Vertical shallow depression on the midline of the root trunk Proximal surfaces of roots are visible 

Roots  

Mandibular permanent 
Mesial aspect 
 

st 1

molar 

  

ML cusp is slightly higher than MB MR is higher & has mesial marginal groove From buccal cervical ridge, B outline curves sharply lingually (arch trait) L profile is convex L HOC between middle & occlusal 1/3s M surface is flat or concave in the C 1/3 & convex in the occlusal 2/3s Roots
‡ Broad BL (type trait) ‡ Blunt apex ‡ Proximal root concavity

Mandibular permanent 1st molar 
Distal aspect 

3 cusps
‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ DL, DB & D (order of decreasing size) D cusp is L to DB cusp DB groove D MR is shorter than M & has a distal marginal groove 1/2 of B surface is visible CL is straight Narrower BL than M surface Root
± Broad BL, but narrower than M root ± Blunt apex ± may have shallow depression

Mandibular permanent 1st molar 
Occlusal aspect 
  

Crown is pentagonal (type trait) B profile is longer than L M profile is longer than D B profile
‡ 3 regions ‡ DB is the most prominent ‡ Maximum BL diameter is just D to MB groove (type trait)

Mandibular permanent 
Occlusal aspect 
 

st 1

molar 

 

MB angle is sharp DB angle is rounded M & D profiles are convergent L (type trait) L profile 2 regions 2/3s of buccal surface are visible (arch trait) L profile: only occlusal 1/3 is visible

Mandibular permanent 1st molar 
Occlusal table 
 

  

5 cusps (type trait) 2L cusps, MB, DB & distal (order of decreasing size) L cusps are more pointed & conical M & D MRs converge L (type trait) M MR is higher and longer Marginal grooves

Mandibular permanent 1st molar 
Occlusal table 

Fossae
‡ Central fossa ‡ 2 M & D triangular fossae 

Grooves
‡ Central ‡ MB & L terminate in the central pit ‡ DB (y-shape with MB & L [type trait]) 

Pits
‡ M, D & central

Mandibular permanent 
Pulp 

st 1

molar

MD section
‡ 2 horns
± MB > DB

‡ Narrow canals 

BL section
‡ 2 horns
± ML > MB

‡ 2 canals in M root 

Transverse section
‡ Rectangular

Mandibular permanent 2nd molar 
Buccal aspect    

Smaller than 1st but larger than 3rd in all dimensions (type traits) Only 2 B cusps & 1 B groove (type trait) L cusps are more prominent from B aspect (type trait) Roots (type traits)
‡ Much closer together ‡ D inclined

Mandibular permanent 2nd molar 
Lingual aspect 
 

Crown is shorter OC Little of proximal surfaces is visible M & D profiles are less convergent cervically Root is narrower BL with sharp apex 

Mesial aspect 

Mandibular permanent 2nd molar 
Distal aspect 
 

D cusp is missing (type trait) Less of B surface is visible (type trait) D root is much narrower BL with a pointed apex (type trait)

Mandibular permanent 2nd molar 
Occlusal aspect (type traits) 
    

Crown is rectangular B profile = L in length M profile = D in length Most prominent of B profile is in the region of the MB cusp Maximum BL dimension is just M to B groove M cusps are wider MD than D cusps

Mandibular permanent 2nd molar 
Occlusal aspect 

MRs
‡ Straight BL ‡ Not crossed by marginal grooves 



³+´ groove pattern More numerous Supplementary grooves

Mandibular permanent 2nd molar 
Pulp 


Similar to that of 1st BL section
‡ Usually 2 canals in M root ‡ Sometimes 1 canal in M root 

T-section
‡ M dimension > D

Mandibular 
Buccal aspect 


rd 3

molar

Highly variable Roots are short, fused & D inclined Short crown of highly bulbous outline Rounded cusps 

Lingual aspect  

Mandibular 3rd molar 
Mesial 


B & L profiles are highly convex Distance between apices of M cusps is shorter Almost entire B surface is visible D root is the narrowest BL & shortest of all mandibular molars 

Distal 
 

Pulp is similar to mandibular 2nd molar

Mandibular 3rd molar 
Occlusal aspect 
   

  

Ovoid in outline M half is wider BL than D half B & L Profiles converge D Highly restricted occlusal table in MD & BL dimensions (type trait) 4 narrow conical cusps Highly convex MRs Irregular pit/groove pattern Shorter grooves

Permanent Molar - size & eruption
Tooth
16 or 26 17 or 27 18 or 28 36 or46 37 or47 38 or 48

Crown height

MD crown BL crown diameter diameter

Tooth length

Age at eruption

7.5 mm 7.0 mm 6.5 mm 7.5 mm 7.0 mm 7.0 mm

10.0 mm 9.0 mm 8.5 mm 11.0 mm 10.5 mm 10.0 mm

11.0 mm 11.0 mm 10.0 mm 10.5 mm 10.5 mm 9.5 mm

19.5 mm 18.0 mm 17.5 mm 21.5 mm 20.0 mm 18.0 mm

6 yrs 12 yrs 18+yrs 6 yrs 12 yrs 18+yrs

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