Maxillary and Mandibular teeth are different in every aspect starting from the size of the teeth to the number of roots (in the molars). This is a very important topic to know the differences between maxillary and mandibular molars to be able to do proper access cavity preparation, removal or caries and to build up tooth structure. When you are in college the differences are very important in Dental Anatomy practicals during wax carving.
Differences between Maxillary and Mandibular molars:
Maxillary molars – Features
Both the first and second molars have 3 roots
The Root trunk is shorter in comparison to Maxillary molars.
Crown is Square shaped when seen occlusaly
There are 3 major cusps
There are 2 Buccal cusps in both Maxillary molars
Lingual cusps are also unequal in both Molars
Oblique ridge is present
It has only one transverse ridge
Occlusion table is centered labiolingually
Equal amount of Buccal and lingual surfaces are seen from occlusal surface
Cusp of Carabelli is seen in first molar
The height of contour on the Lingual aspect is in middle 1/3 or just above junction of middle and cervical 1/3rd
Both the molars are wider Faciolingually than they are mesiodistally.
Both molars have a Distolingual groove.
Mandibular molars – Features
Both the first and second molars have only 2 roots (A third root is sometimes present, which is called – Radix Entomolaris)
The Root trunk is shorter in comparison to Maxillary molars
Crown is Pentagon shaped when seen oclussaly
Both Molars have 4 major cusps
There are 3 buccal cusps
There are 2 lingual cusps
Oblique ridge is absent
There are two transverse ridges
Occlusion table is lingual placed.
Cusp of Carabelli is absent in mandibular molars
More buccal surface than lingual surface may be seen from occlusal
Lingual height of counter in middle 1/30just below the junction of the middle and occluded 1/3s.
Wider mesiodistally than faciolingually.
Buccal pit is present in both molars
There are a total of 12 molars in the oral cavity – 6 Maxillary and 6 Mandibular molars. The occlusal surface of the Molar consists of cusps which help in mastication of food or chewing. The molars also help in maintaining the vertical height of the oral cavity and also the face. The occlusion of the molar cusps is very important in determining proper occlusion of the oral cavity and it is important in Orthodontic treatment as well.