The mandible is horseshoe-shaped, with an
upward sloping portion at each end called the ramus.
The rami are divided into two different processes:
Condyloid processAlso called mandibular
condyle, located posterior on the ramus and forms the
head of the mandible. It is knuckle-shaped, and
articulates in the glenoid fossa of the temporal bone to
form the temporal mandibular joint.
Coronoid processLocated anterior of the
condyle, and provides attachment for the temporals
muscle, which helps lift the mandible to close the
Other important anatomical landmarks of the
mandible you should be able to recognize are as
Alveolar processSupports the teeth of the
Mental protuberanceAlso referred to as the
chin and is located at the midline of the mandible.
Mental foramenLocated on the facial surfaces
of the mandible on both the right and left sides, just
below the second premolars. This opening contains the
mental nerve and blood vessels.
BodyThe heavy, horizontal portion of the
mandible below the mental foramen extending from the
angle to the parasyplysis region.
mandible meets with the ramus.
AngleJuncture where the body of the
Mandibular foramenLocated near the center
of each ramus on the medial side (inside), through this
opening passes blood vessels and the interior alveolus
nerve, which supply the roots of the mandibular teeth.
This is a common area where the dental officer will
inject anesthetic to block the nerve impulses and make
the teeth on that side insensitive (numb).
BONES OF THE EAR
In each middle ear and located in the auditory
ossicles are three small bones named the malleus,
incus, and staples (fig. 3-12). Their function is to
transmit and amplify vibrations to the ear drum and
TEMPORAL MANDIBULAR JOINT
The right and left temporal mandibular joints
(TMJs) are formed by the articulation of the temporal
bone and the mandible. This is where TMJs connect
with the rest of the skull. Figure 3-13 illustrates the
The mandible is joined to the cranium by
ligaments of the temporal mandibularjoint (fig. 3-14).
Figure 3-12.Anatomy of the middle ear.