Morphological peculiarities of the hard palate

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Abstract

Our results were obtained on a total of 48 adult human skulls, assessing the morphological characteristics of the hard palate, measuring the palatine processes and analyzing the sutures (intermaxillary, interpalatine and maxillo-palatine); were determined the size, shape and features of the palatine foramens and incisive fossa. For the incisive fossa we describe three shapes: oval, round and rhombic. In 2 cases the incisive fossa was absent, being replaced by three round holes arranged in a triangle. The palatine process has a very irregular inferior face, being smoother only in its posterior quarter. Each palatine process of maxilla has a trapezoidal shape with the lesser base oriented anteriorly. The median palatine suture starts at the middle of the posterior circumference of the incisive fossa and ends, more often, on the line between second and third molars. The suture may be regular, located on the midline, so the two palatine processes of the maxilla are symmetrical and of equal size. The horizontal palatine lamina is thin, smooth and glossy, with very few vascular openings on its surface, mostly on its sides. The transverse palatine suture is most commonly curved posteriorly, with irregular contour and with an oblique posterior-lateral traject; it ends at the large palatine foramen. The large palatine foramens are voluminous, sometimes larger than the incisor one. The most common shape is oval and less frequently are rounded. The lesser palatine foramens are variable in number from 1 to 5; commonly are two on each side.

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