Anatomy Monday: Nasopalatine Canal

It’s time for the next canal: the nasopalatine canal.  This canal may also be referred to as the incisive canal.  It is seen on both intraoral radiographs and extraoral radiographs.  The nasopalatine canal presents as a vertical radiolucent band between the roots of the maxillary central incisors superiorly to the floor of the nasal cavity.  Two thin radiopaque borders may be evident but are not seen on every patient.

nasopalatine canal periapical radiograph nasopalatine canal pantomograph nasopalatine canal axial CBCT On an axial view (CBCT), the canal (black arrows) is seen in cross-section as a round to ovoid radiolucent area palatal to the maxillary central incisors in the midline.

nasopalatine canal sagittal CBCTOn a sagittal view (CBCT), the canal (black arrow) is seen as a vertical radiolucent line with radiopaque  borders.

If you have any questions or comments about the nasopalatine canal and its appearance on radiographs, please leave them below. Thanks and enjoy!

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