Surgical Anatomy of Mandibular Third Molar

Special Article - Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

Austin J Surg. 2019; 6(13): 1194.

Surgical Anatomy of Mandibular Third Molar

Gupta S1*, Khan TA1, Attarde H3 and Narula J4

1Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, Jaipur Dental College, India

2YMT Dental College and Hospital, Navi Mumbai, India

3Student of International Dental Program, Moldova State University of Medicine and Pharmacies, Moldova

*Corresponding author: Gupta S, Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, Jaipur Dental College, Dhand, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302028, India

Received: April 29, 2019; Accepted: May 22, 2019; Published: May 29, 2019


A proficient knowledge of oral anatomy is mandatory to facilitate an uncomplicated removal of lower third molars. This article addresses basic anatomic structures that are in close relationship to lower third molars. Pertinent bones, muscles, blood supply, nerve innervations, which may be encountered during Trans alveolar extraction of third molar are reviewed; along with their surgical implications. Caution must be exercised while performing surgery in this area and thus making the reader more enlightened on this aspect. This article was constructed by reviewing English literature from 1993 to till date. This review article concludes that a more comprehensive study should be conducted in this purview of mandibular third molar.

Keywords: Surgical anatomy; Third molar; Nerve injury; Complication of third molar extractions


Surgical removal of impacted third molar is one of the common surgical procedures carried out in the oral and maxillofacial surgery set up. Surgical management of impacted third molar is difficult because of its anatomical position, poor accessibility, and potential injuries to the surrounding vital structures, nerves, vessels, soft tissues, and adjacent teeth during surgeries [1].

To overcome these hurdles of surrounding anatomical structures of third molar; we embarked on this review of literature to make the reader more aware of the surgical anatomy as well as possible complications associated with these structures. For a comprehensive review, we have categorised this anatomy into hard tissues and Soft tissues.

Hard Tissues


When the mandible is viewed anteriorly, it is seen that the ramus tends to flare out buccal from the distal aspect of the third molar region. Mandibular third molar is situated at the distal end of the body of the mandible at the junction of mandibular body and the ramus. This junction constitutes a line of weakness and The lower third is embedded between a thick buccal cortical plate which is buttressed by the external oblique ridge and on the lingual side is present the comparatively narrower lingual cortical plate where is connection with relatively thin ramus [2] (Figure 1).