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J Forensic Dent Sci. 2015 Jan-Apr;7(1):8-13. doi: 10.4103/0975-1475.150294.

Transverse changes in lateral and medial aspects of palatal rugae after mid palatal expansion: A pilot study.

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Department of Orthodontics, Faculty of Dentistry, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, India.



Palatal rugae has established role in forensic identification of an individual due to its stability in growth as well as orthodontic treatment. However effect of orthodontic mid-palatal expansion on rugae stability still requires further investigation. Hence, this study was aimed at evaluating the stability of palatal rugae in transverse dimension in adolescent patients of mid-palatal expansion.


The study sample consists of 14 subjects (10F,4M, age 12.4 ± 2.0 years) with transverse maxillary constriction, treated with bonded and banded rapid maxillary expansion (RME) appliance. 1(st) to 3(rd) rugae on pre- and post-expansion casts were recorded synchronously. Inter-medial and inter-lateral rugae distance were measured with digital calipers to record the transverse positional rugae changes.


There was a statistically significant (p < 0.05) increase in values after expansion between medial aspects of 2(nd) (p = 0.002) and 3(rd) rugae (p = 0.005) and lateral aspects of 1(st) (p = 0.015), 2(nd) (p = 0.006) and 3(rd) (p = 0.001) rugae. The transverse changes were recorded in the order of 3(rd) rugae >2(nd) rugae >1(st) rugae.


This pilot study does not support stability of medial and lateral ruga points of 2(nd) and 3(rd) primary rugae for forensic identification in individuals treated with mid palatal expansion.


Forensic identification; mid palatal expansion; palatal rugae; stability

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