Extraction of the Mandibular Second Molar

What is a mandibular molar?

The human dentition is divided into groups – the incisors (your front teeth), the canines, the premolars, and the molars. There are (in most cases) three molars in each quadrant of the human mouth. The third molars are the farthest back, and are more commonly referred to as ‘wisdom’ teeth. The second molars follow, then the first molars, and so on.

Unlike the three-rooted maxillary molars, mandibular molars usually have two roots. The roots of the second molar are more convergent than that of the first molar, meaning they come together more.

Out of all of the molars, the mandibular second molar is the most symmetrical, forming a pattern that resembles the shape of a cross on its occlusal surface (the top of the tooth). The mandibular second molar has four cusps.

How do we extract a mandibular second molar?

Extracting the mandibular second molar can be achieved with No. 17 forceps. These forceps are equipped with extensions on the beaks that can fit in-between the tooth roots. It is essential that apical (downward towards the root) pressure is applied in order to insure that the tips of the beaks are as low as possible.

The initial motion to remove a mandibular second molar should be buccolingual (towards the cheek and tongue). The tooth socket will expand, which is necessary in order to remove the tooth. There should be more pressure applied lingual than buccally. If the bifurcation of the root is readily available, then the cowhorn forceps (No. 23) can be utilized, as well.

(n.d.) Permanent Mandibular Second Molars. Dr. Charles Acoria. A.T. Still Missouri School of Dentistry and Oral Health.

Hupp, J. R., Ellis, E., & Tucker, M. R. (2019). Contemporary oral and maxillofacial surgery. St. Louis: Elsevier.

Canida, B., Moore, B., Cheatham, K., & Cheatham, M. (2016). B&B Dental: Modernized Ndbe Part 1 Board Prep (2.8 ed.). B&B Dental.

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