The maxilla (plural: maxillae /mækˈsɪliː/) in animals is the upper jawbone formed from the fusion of two maxillary bones. The upper jaw includes the frontal portion of the palate of the mouth. The two maxillary bones are fused at the intermaxillary suture. This is similar to the mandible (lower jaw), which is also a fusion of two mandibular bones at the mandibular symphysis. After foetal development, the maxilla is considered 2 bones apart of the Viscerocranium, whereas the Mandible is only considered to be one.
The name derives from the small tabs upon which a patient bites to hold the x-ray film or sensor in place. Bitewing radiographs are among the easiest and most accurate