Introduction and objective:
The nasopalatine canal (NPC) connects the floor of the nasal cavity with the anterior part of the hard palate. The anatomical variability of the NPC dimensions and the thickness of maxillary bone anterior to the NPC is related to age, gender and ethnicity. Also the shape, position and number of NPC foramina varies in different populations. Nowadays, cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) is often used in dentistry and contributes to the depiction of anatomical landmarks. The aim of the study is analysis of the nasopalatine canal morphology in CBCT examinations in a sample of the Polish population.

Material and methods:
One hundred consecutive CBCT scans were analyzed. The studied group included 55 women and 45 men, age range: 20 – 30 years. The following criteria were recorded: shape, length and width in the narrowest part of the canal, antero-posterior measurement of nasal and palatal foramina, and medio-lateral diameter of incisive foramen, number of foramina of Stenson and division of NPC, presence of canalis sinuosus and thickness of maxillary bone anterior to the NPC.

The NPC measurements were gender-related with mean values higher in males. There was no correlation according to gender in shape of the canal, presence of Stenson’s foramina and canalis sinuosus. The most common was cylindrical shape, and the rarest a banana-like shape. The frequency of single NPC canal was the highest and more often observed in females.

It was found that the morphology of the NPC varied in the sample of the population, which highlights the importance of preoperative imaging diagnosis

CBCT – cone beam computed tomography; IC – incisive canal; FOV – field of view; NPC – nasopalatine canal
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