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International Journal of Dentistry
Volume 2010, Article ID 292753, 6 pages
Research Article

Length and Geometric Patterns of the Greater Palatine Canal Observed in Cone Beam Computed Tomography

1Department of Oral Biology, Creighton University, Omaha, NE 68178, USA
2Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine, University of Michigan School of Dentistry, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
3US Army DENTAC, Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, TX 78234, USA

Received 1 June 2010; Accepted 19 July 2010

Academic Editor: Preetha P. Kanjirath

Copyright © 2010 Karen Howard-Swirzinski et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The greater palatine canal is an important anatomical structure that is often utilized as a pathway for infiltration of local anesthesia to affect sensation and hemostasis. Increased awareness of the length and anatomic variation in the anatomy of this structure is important when performing surgical procedures in this area (e.g., placement of osseointegrated dental implants). We examined the anatomy of the greater palatine canal using data obtained from CBCT scans of 500 subjects. Both right and left canals were viewed ( 𝑁 = 1 0 0 0 ) in coronal and sagittal planes, and their paths and lengths determined. The average length of the greater palatine canal was 29 mm ( ± 3  mm), with a range from 22 to 40 mm. Coronally, the most common anatomic pattern consisted of the canal traveling inferior-laterally for a distance then directly inferior for the remainder (43.3%). In the sagittal view, the canal traveled most frequently at an anterior-inferior angle (92.9%).