Radiographic image of the hard palate and nasal fossa floor in panoramic radiography

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The aim of this investigation was to report on the radiographic interpretation of the hard palate and nasal fossa floor in panoramic radiographs by studying different skulls, x-ray machines, and head positions in relationship to the Frankfort plane before and after ostectomy.

Study design.

Twenty dry human skulls were radiographed with three different panoramic x-ray machines in three different positions. Three of the skulls were submitted to different ostectomies.


Multiple images of the hard palate and nasal fossa floor were present in 96.12% of the radiographs. Single images (3.88%) occurred only in the "chin up" position.


The lower image represents the nasal fossa floor, especially its lateral and anterior limits. The upper images are double real images mainly formed by the junction of the nasal septum with the nasal fossa floor and possibly by posterior parts of the hard palate and nasal fossa floor. All images overlap in the "chin up" position becoming a single image. The most common shape of the anatomic landmark was wide angle "W" (58.33%). Other shapes present in positions "chin up" and "chin down" indicate patient positioning errors. The x-ray machines did not influence the results.

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