(2) Landmarks. Behind the most posterior tooth on each side of the maxilla
is a small round prominence, called the maxillary tuberosity. The maxillary tuberosity is
a landmark used in prosthetic dentistry and radiography. Just posterior to the maxillary
tuberosity, where the maxilla and palatine bones unite, there is a notch or groove called
the hamular notch or pterygo-maxillary notch. The hamular notch is also used as a
landmark in determining the posterior border of a maxillary denture.
e. Palatal Process. This projection is thick and strong and forms much of the
floor of the nasal cavity and palate (roof of the mouth). Its inferior surface, uniting with
the palatal process of the maxillary bone of the opposite side, forms the anterior three
fourths of the hard palate (see figure 2-6). The posterior one fourth of the hard palate is
formed by the two palatine bones.
(1) Incisive foramen. Located in the midline of the hard palate, just behind
the two central incisors, is an opening called the incisive foramen. Into this opening,
emerge two canals called incisive canals. Through these canals pass the blood vessels
and the nerves supplying the soft tissues covering the anterior part of the hard palate.
(2) Premaxilla. In the early development of the maxilla, an anterior pair of
bones (premaxilla) is formed. This pair of bones fuses early with the maxilla to form the
single upper jaw. Developmental defects, such as a cleft palate or a cleft lip, occur
along these suture lines between the premaxillary and maxillary bones.
Figure 2-6. The palatal surface of the maxilla.