Author: Dr Peter de Souza
Last modified: 13 December 2020


The structure indicated is the maxilla bone.

The skull consists of the calvaria which contains the brain, and the facial skeleton, also known as the viscerocranium.

The facial skeleton consists of the following bones:

  • Nasal bones
  • Lacrimal bones
  • Palatine bones
  • Zygomatic bones
  • Maxillae
  • Inferior nasal conchae
  • Vomer

The maxillae (plural) are paired bones which are located between the orbit and the upper teeth, forming the upper part of the jaw. The maxilla consists of four processes:

  1. Zygomatic process – sticks out laterally to articulate with zygomatic bone
  2. Frontal process – projects superiorly and articulates with frontal bone
  3. Alveolar process – forms the tooth sockets for the upper teeth
  4. Palatine process – located inferiorly and forms the anterior portion of the hard palate

Learn more about the anatomy of the skull in this tutorial.