The third or last molar tooth of both jaws is of great size, and presents a structure at first sight unlike that of any other mammal, being composed of numerous (22-25) parallel cylinders or columns, each with pulp-cavity, dentine and enamel-covering, and packed together with cement.
The ridges on the crown are due to the arrangement of the vertical layers of hard dentine (fig.
By which the age of d, Dentine or ivory.
When the summits of these are worn by mastication their surfaces present circles of dentine surrounded by a border of enamel, and as attrition proceeds different patterns are produced by the union of the bases of the cusps, a trefoil form being characteristic of some species.
As the teeth wear, the folded enamel, being harder than the other constituents, the dentine and cement, forms projecting ridges on the surface arranged in a definite pattern, which give it great efficiency as a grinding instrument (see fig.
The uncoloured portions are the dentine or ivory, the shaded parts the cement filling the cavities and surrounding the exterior.