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Incisive fossa and canals


This is a fossa formed by the union of the two maxillae. It is an oval fossa opening on the palatal surface of the bone just posterior to the anterior incisors. It runs obliquely upward and posteriorly opening into two to four small canals that enter the nasal cavity. Typically there are right and left canals that transmit branches of the greater palatine artery from the oral cavity to the nasal cavity and nasopalatine nerves in the other direction. In some individuals two additional canals, the anterior and posterior median incisive canals transmit branches of the nasopalatine nerves into the oral cavity.


Incisive is a Latin term that means a notch or to cut into. It comes from the Latin prefix in and the verb caedere meaning to cut, therefore meaning to cut into or notch. Canal denotes a channel or passageway through bone. Sometimes called a meatus.


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