The Alveolar process is a portion of mandible and maxilla that forms and supports the tooth sockets or alveoli.
It has a narrow distal curvature than the remaining part of the body of the mandible, creating a flat surface in the posterior area between the teeth and the anterior border of the ramus.
This Alveolar process further results in the formation of the external oblique ridge, which runs downwards and forward to the region of the second molar.
The maxilla on the other hand is a paired bone that has four processes, the two alveolar processes which contains the sockets for the teeth and the two palatine processes, which extends horizontally.
Here the alveolar process is in pairs unlike the mandible, which is a single bone.
Alveolar process forms when the tooth erupts to provide the osseous attachment to the forming periodontal ligament; it disappears gradually after the tooth is lost.
The alveolar process consists of three parts, the first being the external plate of cortical bone formed by haversian bone and compacted bone lamellae.
The second part is the inner socket wall of thin compact bone also known as alveolar bone proper.
It contains a series of opening s through which neurovascular bundles link the periodontal ligament with the central component of the alveolar bone, the cancellous bone.
And last part is the cancellous trabeculae, between these compact layers, which act as supporting alveolar bone. This is the entire alveolar process.
The cancellous portion of the alveolar process has trabeculae that enclose irregular shaped marrow spaces lined with a layer of thin, flattened endosteal cells.
Wide variation occurs in the trabecular pattern of cancellous bone, which is affected by occlusal forces.
The matrix of the cancellous trabeculae consists of irregularly arranged lamellae separated by deeply staining incremental and resorption lines indicative of previous bone activity, with an occasional haversian system.
This is the entire Alveolar process.