Retained deciduous molar teeth

Deciduous molar teeth have a different anatomy than permanent molars. Deciduous molars are smaller in size, whiter, and their crowns are proportionately shorter compared to their roots. Deciduous molars have thinner enamel that are less mineralized; their occlusal surface (biting or chewing surface) is narrow bucco-lingually (measuring from the tongue to the cheek), the cusps and ridges are not as high and not as pointed, and the fossae (valleys) are less deep, and there are less fissures and grooves, compared to adult molars. Orthodontic braces do not bond so tenaciously to deciduous teeth because of their anatomy & enamel structure.

Deciduous molar roots are thinner and longer compared to those of adult teeth. The root diverge out from each other more, and start diverging much earlier, from a point closer to the crown, than in adult teeth. The dentist can also distinguish the left and right molars easily based on their anatomy.

Deciduous second molar teeth (milk teeth)(circled yellow) still present in an adult. The rest of the molars (not circled) are adult teeth. Note brown patches of enamel hypomineralization in the last molars on both sides of the jaw.

Deciduous second molar teeth (milk teeth)(circled yellow) still present in an adult. The rest of the molars (not circled) are adult teeth. Note brown patches of enamel hypomineralization in the last molars on both sides of the jaw.

 

Retained deciduous molar tooth on the left side in another adult. Everyone should have two premolars on each side, but this person lacks a premolar on the left side.

Retained deciduous molar tooth on the left side in another adult. Everyone should have two premolars on each side, but this person lacks a premolar on the left side.

See information on deciduous teeth in Wikipedia.

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