Oral Anatomy 3b - The Mandibular Second Permanent Molar
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How does the mandibular second permanent molar appear when viewed occlusally?
- When viewed occlusally, the crown exhibits a regular, rectangular shape; the buccal profile is thus nearly equal in length to the lingual profile, unlike the mandibular first permanent molar.
- There are four cusps, the mesiobuccal and mesiolingual cusps being slightly larger than the distobuccal and distolingual cusps.
- The cusps are separated by a cross shaped occlusal fissure pattern, which may be complicated by numerous supplemental grooves.
How does the mandibular second permanent molar appear from the buccal aspect?
- From the buccal aspect the crown appears smaller than that of the first molar.
- A fissure extends between the buccal cusps from the occlusal surface and terminates approximately halfway up the buccal surface.
- Like that of the mandibular first molar, the buccal surface is highly convex.
How does the mandibular second permanent molar appear from the lingual aspect?
From the lingual aspect the buccal profiles and proximal surfaces are not visible and the crown is noticeably shorter than the first molar.
How does the mandibular second permanent molar appear from the mesial and distal aspects?
- The mesial and distal aspects of the second molar resemble those of the first molar although because there is no distal cusp, the proximal surfaces are more equal in terms of their convexity.
- The mesial and distal marginal ridges do not converge and are not as markedly notched at their midpoint.
What are the roots like for the mandibular second permanent molar?
- The mesial and distal roots are flattened mesiodistally, and are smaller and less divergent than those of the first molar.
- They may be partly fused.
- The mesial root is not as broad as that of the first molar, and the distal inclination of the roots is usually more marked.
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