Palatal Rugae Patterns in Forensic Identification
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Palatal rugae (rugae palatinae or plicae palatinae transversae) refer to a series of transverse ridges on the anterior part of the palatal mucosa on each side of the median palatal raphe and behind the incisive papillae. Palatoscopy or palatal rugoscopy is the study of palatal rugae in order to establish a person's identity.
Materials and Methods
The study population consisted of 100 healthy subjects, 50 males and 50 females were randomly selected. All subjects were of Indian origin, aged 20 years and above. Impressions were made and poured with type III dental stone. The palatal rugae patterns were highlighted using black graphite pencil on the cast and were analyzed following the classification of Martin dos Santos.
Each individual had an unique rugae pattern. Curve form (34%) of rugae was the most common in both males and females whereas none of the casts exhibited the point form of rugae. Following the curve form, the sinuous form was common in males and line form was common in females.
Palatal rugae can be used as an effective tool in forensic identification. Its internal position, antemortem resistance, uniqueness, and regional variation provide a potentially reliable source of identification to the researchers.
Palatal Rugae, Palatoscopy, Rugoscopy, Identity, Impression.