A molar tooth is located in the posterior (back) section 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 in order to chew and grind food into easily digestible bits.

These teeth are 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 eighteen to twenty but this 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 the most complicated type of tooth in humans. Extraction (removal) 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
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In Depth: Mouth

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