Gender Prediction from Morphometric Palatal Rugae Measures
Background. While abundant research has been conducted on palatal rugae (PR), the literature pertaining to the gender dimorphism of the palatal rugae and their use for gender prediction is inconclusive. Moreover, palatal rugae have been classified into categories based on length, shape, direction and unification but accurate rugal morphometric linear and angular measurements have not yet been reported.
Objectives. The aims of this study were to -1- assess the dimensions and bilateral symmetry of the first three palatal rugae in an adult population and -2- explore gender dimorphism and the ability to predict gender from palatal rugae measurements.
Material and Methods: The maxillary dental casts of 252 non-growing subjects (119 males, 130 females, mean age 25.6 ± 7.7 years) were scanned using a laser system (Perceptron ScanWorks® V5). Angular and linear transverse and anteroposteior measures of the first three palatal rugae were recorded. Independent samples t-tests and paired samples t-tests were used to test for side related differences and gender dimorphism. Multiple logistic regression was employed to model gender using associated palatal rugae measures.
Results: Palatal rugae exhibited lateral asymmetry in the majority of bilateral measures. Males presented with larger values for 9 out of 28 parameters. Four linear rugae measurements and one angular measurement together correctly classified 71.4% of the subjects in their true gender.
Conclusions: Morphometric palatal rugae measurements demonstrated promising usefulness in gender prediction. Recording morphometric linear and angular measures is recommended as an adjunct to the commonly used classification based on the shapes of rugae.
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