A molar tooth is located at the back of the mouth. It is found in most mammals that use their posterior teeth to grind food. Twelve molars are usually present in an adult human in groups of three. These teeth are typically larger than the premolars, and have a larger surface area to facilitate chewing and grinding of food into easily digestible bits. These teeth are also divided into mandibular and maxillary molars, which are located in the lower and upper jaws respectively. In the four groups of molars, the third one in each group is known as the wisdom tooth. This is generally the final tooth to erupt at an average age of twenty. But the appearance of this tooth may occur at different ages in some individuals. Some adults may have more than four wisdom teeth, which are known as supernumerary teeth. But in nearly one-third of all humans, the wisdom teeth may not appear at all. A molar is considered to be the most complicated type of tooth in humans. Extraction of this tooth is a complex process of dentistry, and may be more painful than other teeth extractions.
Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
In Depth: Molar