Stability of Palatal Rugae after Rapid Maxillary Expansion
Keywords:Rapid Maxillary Expansion, Palatal rugae, Transverse dimension
Introduction: Palatal rugae or plicae palatine are uneven ridges made of connective tissue situated
beneath the incisive papilla. DNA analysis, finger prints analysis, are the most common techniques used
for establishing person’s identity but in situation where using these techniques are difficult palatal rugae
can be used as a second source of identification. However, some habits like prolonged thumb sucking and
orthodontic treatment for long duration could affect the rugae pattern. Hence, this study aims to evaluate the
changes in transverse dimensions of palatal rugae in subjects treated with rapid maxillary expansion
Material and Methods: The palatal rugae patterns were measured and compared to evaluate the morphometric
changes between pre-treatment cast (30 Pre-RME) and its post-treatment (30 Post-RME) counterpart. All
pre-and post-expansion dental casts were traced and the intermedial and interlateral dimensions of first,
second and third rugae were measured. The statistical analysis was done using paired t test.
Conclusion: The medial aspect of first primary rugae can be considered as a stable reference landmark
while the lateral and medial aspects of the 2nd and 3rd rugae are liable to changes in transverse dimension.
Hence, for forensic identification the stability of palatal rugae in patients who had undergone rapid maxillary
expansion still remains questionable
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