dens

noun
\ˈdenz \
plural dentes\ˈden-ˌtēz \

Medical Definition of dens 

: a toothlike process that projects from the anterior end of the centrum of the axis in the spinal column, serves as a pivot on which the atlas rotates, and is morphologically the centrum of the atlas though detached from that vertebra and more or less perfectly united with the next one behind

called also odontoid process

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