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Evaluation of the Role of Palatal Rugae Application as a Tool for Sex Identification in the Saudi Population



Human identification has always been a major challenge for forensic experts, especially when dealing with decomposed and severely mutilated corpses. Palatal rugae are usually preserved in such conditions and thus can be used as a rapid, simple technique where other methods fail to apply. This study aimed to evaluate the role of palatal rugae application as a tool for sex identification in the Saudi population. Three hundred randomly chosen Saudis of both genders were included in the study. Maxillary arch impression casts were prepared and digitally photographed. The palatal rugae count, patterns, length, prominence and median raphae extension were the studied parameters. The rugae count showed higher incidence in males, 63.3%. The rugae patterns study showed that the sinuous was the highest incidence in males, 31.5%, while the curve was the highest in females, 34%. Primary and prominent rugae showed statistical significance while median raphae extension was non-significant. The study revealed the possible application of palatal rugae as a tool for sex identification in the Saudi population. This finding can be helpful in the identification process and is recommended for other populations. Digital archiving of palatoprints by legal authorities may act as reference for criminal and civil cases.

January 4, 2016
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