Association of Rugae Pattern with Skeletal Malocclusion in Orthodontic Patients Visiting Tertiary Care Hospital

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The palatal rugae are special constructions that are inalterable in their position and pattern during the lifestyles of an individual. This imparts them an exceptional role in the forensic dentistry and may play potential role in malocclusion identification. This study was aimed to see association of rugae pattern with sagittal skeletal malocclusion in orthodontic patients visiting tertiary care hospital.


This cross-sectional examination was completed on pretreatment records (lateral Cephalometric radiographs and maxillary dental casts) of 384 subjects at the orthodontic department of Ziauddin Dental Hospital, Karachi. The study duration was from January to July 2019. The samples were  sub-divided into three sagittal skeletal  groups based on ANB angle proposed by Steiner’s  on lateral Cephalometric radiographs  (Class I with ANB angle between 0° to 4°; Class II: ANB angle greater than  5°; Class III: ANB angle  less than 0°). The shapes of three most-anterior primary rugae were then evaluated bilaterally using Kapali et al., Classification. Chi Square test was applied to find association of rugae pattern among sagittal skeletal malocclusions groups.


Circular and curved rugae shapes were the most prevalent in all skeletal malocclusions. The primary palatal rugae pattern was seen to be significantly different among three skeletal malocclusion groups (p<0.05). The right and left sided palatal rugae pattern showed significant difference in all three skeletal malocclusion groups (p<0.05).


The present study showed no specific palatal rugae pattern associated with sagittal skeletal malocclusion. Further studies on larger sample and use of modern 3D technologies to scan the maxillary casts are required for results that are more precise.


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