My watch list  

Mandibular third molar

Human Teeth
Maxillary teeth
  • Premolar
    • First premolar
    • Second premolar
  • Molar
    • First molar
    • Second molar
    • Third molar
Mandibular teeth
  • Incisor
    • Central incisor
    • Lateral incisor
  • Canine
Mandibular third molar
Mandibular third molars of permanent teeth marked in red. There are no third molars in primary teeth.

The mandibular third molar, commonly known as a wisdom tooth, is the tooth located distally (away from the midline of the face) from both the mandibular second molars of the mouth with no tooth posterior to it in permanent teeth. In deciduous (baby) teeth, there is no mandibular third molar. The function of this molar is similar to that of all molars in regard to grinding being the principle action during mastication, commonly known as chewing. For this tooth, there are great variances among third molars, and a specific description of a third molar will not hold true in all cases. It is important to note that the permanent mandibular molars are not considered to have any teeth that precede it. Despite being named molars, the deciduous molars are followed by permanent premolars.

In the universal system of notation, the permanent mandibular third molars are designated by a number. The right permanent mandibular third molar is known as "32", and the left one is known as "17". In the Palmer notation, a number is used in conjunction with a symbol designating in which quadrant the tooth is found. For this tooth, the left and right third molars would have the same number, "8", but the right one would have the symbol, "┐", over it, while the left one would have, "┌". The international notation has a different numbering system than the previous two, and the right permanent mandibular third molar is known as "48", and the left one is known as "38".


  • Ash, Major M. and Stanley J. Nelson, 2003. Wheeler’s Dental Anatomy, Physiology, and Occlusion. 8th edition.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Mandibular_third_molar". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
Your browser is not current. Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 does not support some functions on Chemie.DE