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Vomer

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The vomer is a singular bone that runs vertically within the nasal cavity, separating the left and right sides. When the skull is completely assembled, it can only be seen through the nasal orifice, anteriorly.

Ethmoid bone
Recommended video: Ethmoid bone
Anatomy, function and location of the ethmoid bone.

Anatomy

This cranial structure runs caudally in an anterior and inferior direction, so that from a lateral point of view it looks like a diagonal rectangle (or a plough as it is more commonly known). The entire bone is ossified by means of the intramembranous pathway. The vomer is part of the nasal septum which follows the midline of the viscerocranium and creates the division between the two symmetrical sides of the nasal cavity. To be exact, the vomer forms the posterior inferior aspect of the septum in between the perpendicular plate of the ethmoid bone anterosuperiorly and the palatine bone posteroinferiorly. In addition, the maxilla links to the vomer anteriorly and inferiorly, the sphenoid bone posteriorly and the nasal cartilage anteriorly.

Articulations

The vomer articulates with the palatine, the maxilla, the ethmoid and sphenoid bones. The posterior border, however, is not attached to any bones but soft tissue, making it one of the few bones of the skull which does not fully articulate to other bones.

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Show references

Reference:

  • Neil S. Norton, Ph.D. and Frank H. Netter, MD, Netter’s Head and Neck Anatomy for Dentistry, 2nd Edition, Elsevier Saunders, Chapter 2 Osteology, p.40

Author:

  • Dr. Alexandra Sieroslawska

Illustrators:

  • Vomer - sagittal section - Yousun Koh 
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