In forensic odontology, individual’s identity is a difficult task. In circumstances where recognizable proof of person by fingerprinting or dental record is troublesome, palatal rugae may considered as an elective source. It has been appeared to be profoundly individualistic and it keeps up consistency in shape throughout the life. Therefore, this study aimed to assess the significance of palatal rugae in gender identification.
A crossectional study was conducted in Dental opd of KMDC and Ziauddin University hospital. A total of 100 casts were evaluated and palatal rugae were examined and recorded according to the classification given by Thomas and Kapali et al. Participants with any congenital abnormality, inflammation, trauma and patient undergoing orthodontic treatment were excluded from the study.
Significant difference was found in the distribution pattern of straight, curved and wavy whereas male has higher incidence of rugae pattern altogether. Moreover, the side distribution of palatal rugae length and unification patterns showed significance.
In conclusion, palatal rugae are specific for the male and female population, and has a possible role in identifying gender. Further studies in various populations and in different ethnic groups are required to explore the potential of palatal rugae patterns in forensic dentistry.
Palatal rugae, Forensic identification, Forensic odontology