Review of Normal Anatomical Landmarks and Variations

It is important to understand the landmarks normally seen on panoramic images in order to prevent misdiagnosis of a radiopaque or radiolucent area. For the purposes of this course, we will focus on the structures that are most commonly viewed in panoramic images. For additional information, a review of the anatomic structures can be found in the article by Farman2 and the text by Iannucci & Howerton.1

Figure 2. Normal Anatomical Landmarks.3

Image of normal anatomical landmarks.
(Refer to the glossary for the definition of each structure shown).

Figure 3. Example of Pathology and Variations of Normal.

Image of example of pathology and variations of normal.
The patient’s chief complaint was pain and popping near the TMJ. The panoramic image indicates a flattened condyle and significant wear of the glenoid fossa of the temporal bone due to constant force from bruxism and clenching. It was also noted that the patient has very pronounced styloid processes (bilaterally).
(Refer to the glossary for the definition of each structure shown.)
Image source: Courtesy of AB & Dr. Iwata