Third molar

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third molar

eighth permanent tooth in the maxilla and mandible on each side, making it the most posterior tooth in human dentition; usually erupts between the seventeenth and twenty-third years; the roots are often fused, the separation being marked only by grooves; because it tends to erupt in an anterosuperior direction, the lower third molar often becomes impacted against the lower second molar; it is common for one or more third molar to fail to develop.

Synonym: dens serotinus, molaris tertius, dens sapientiae, wisdom tooth.