Comparison of Palatal Rugae Pattern among Indian and Malaysian Population
Keywords:Palate rugae, Odontology, Primary rugae, Secondary rugae, Fragmentary rugae.
Background: Tools for establishing identity is invaluable part of forensic sciences form the beginning
of the profession. Odontology is one of such branches which in early days started in its crude form with
identification of different species and races within the species, currently is an individual subject with
specialist societies, journals and courses. Palatal rugae, was identified to be a potential tool for establishing
identity few centuries back itself but is not validated even today to be part of standard protocols. This is a
pilot study comparing two racial groups i.e., Indian and Malaysian with established parameters for palate
rugae aiming at testing the feasibility of the parameters to be used in identification of individuals and racial
groups and also to provide preliminary data to make way to larger studies.
Aims and Objectives: The aim of this pilot study is to explore the feasibility of palate prints as tool for
identification by, studying palate print in Indian and Malaysians and Comparison of plate Rugosity between
Indians and Malaysians students for identification.
Methodology: Study population was male Indian and Malaysian Medical and Dental students, age between
18-25 years studying at Mangalore, India. Sample size 80 (40 in each group); were selected for studying of
Palatal Rugae. The palate impressions were collected using maxillary alginate cast. The parameters assessed
were: Total number of rugae, number of primary rugae (length- 5 to 10 mm), secondary rugae (3-5mm),
fragmentary rugae (less than 3 mm). Comparison for two populations was done using non-parametric MannWhitney Test.
Results: There were no statistically significant differences among the Indians and Malaysians in total
number and number secondary rugae in both sides more in Indians than Malaysians.
There was statistically significant difference in number of the primary rugae and the fragmentary rugae,
which in both sides were more in Indians than Malaysians.
Conclusion: In conclusion, palatal rugae pattern are unique to an individual and their use in forensic
identification has been advocated and applied. Our study demonstrated significant difference in the number
of primary rugae on each side. It was more in Indians than Malaysians. This study demonstrated the
uniqueness of rugae pattern in different individuals. Thus, it appears to be an effective & reliable source of
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