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Anatomy of the cranial base
Anatomy of the external and middle ear
Anatomy of the eye
Anatomy of the infratemporal fossa
Anatomy of the inner ear
Anatomy of the nose and paranasal sinuses
Anatomy of the oral cavity
Anatomy of the orbit
Anatomy of the pterygopalatine (sphenopalatine) fossa
Anatomy of the salivary glands
Anatomy of the temporomandibular joint and muscles of mastication
Anatomy of the tongue
Bones of the cranium
Muscles of the face and scalp
Nerves and vessels of the face and scalp
Anatomy clinical correlates: Ear
Anatomy clinical correlates: Eye
Anatomy clinical correlates: Skull, face and scalp
Anatomy clinical correlates: Temporal regions, oral cavity and nose
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The cranial base is the most inferior part of the skull.
It consists of the floor of the cranial cavity plus the inferior aspect of the viscerocranium, minus the mandible.
Together with the cranial vault, which is the part of the skull that protects the brain, it contributes to the neurocranium.
Now, the cranial base is a highly irregular surface from both an external and internal view.
So let’s begin with the external surface of the cranial base, which is formed by the maxillary, palatine, vomer, sphenoid, and occipital bones, in the midline; and the zygomatic and temporal bones laterally.
In the most anterior part of the cranial base, there are the alveolar arch and the hard palate.
The hard palate makes up both the roof of the mouth and the floor of the nasal cavity, and it’s made up of the palatine processes of both maxil lary bones and the horizontal plates of both palatine bones behind them.
The maxillary teeth border the hard palate anteriorly and on both sides.
Right behind the incisor teeth there’s the incisive fossa, which has one or more incisive foramina, that allow the nasopalatine nerves and the terminal branches of the sphenopalatine arteries to pass through.
Posteriorly and laterally, on the horizontal plate of each palatine bone, there’s the greater palatine foramen; and right behind it, the lesser palatine foramen through which the greater and lesser palatine nerves and arteries emerge.
Now, superior to the posterior end of the hard palate are the posterior nasal apertures - or choanae - which are also bounded by the body of the sphenoid bones superiorly, the medial pterygoid plates laterally, and the vomer medially.
The choanae allow air to pass from the nasal cavities into the pharynx.
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