Preservation of palatal rugae plays an important role in prosthetic rehabilitation and in forensic identification when the individual has no teeth either completely or partially owing to its resistance and stability. However recent studies have shown substantial rugae pattern changes are caused by tooth loss of prolonged duration.
Aim: The present study was carried to compare and evaluate the effect of tooth loss on rugae pattern among completely and partially edentulous maxillary arch individuals as a reliable personal identification tool.
Methodology: A total of 50 participants were divided into two groups comprising of 25 completely edentulous (Group A) and 25 partially edentulous (Group B) individuals. Impressions, maxillary casts were made and the number, type of rugae patterns were recorded using graphite pencil and tracing paper every 3 month over a period of 1year based on Martins dos Santos classification system.
Results: More complex patterns (line, curve, circle, bifurcated, sinnous) are observed in Group B with significant differences between the mean values of line, bifurcated and circle pattern when compared to Group A. Simultaneously mean differences in sinnous pattern (Group A) and Sinnous, Line pattern (Group B) within the group were also seen over a period of 1 year.
Conclusion: The present study thus showed significant differences in the rugae pattern between both the groups and greater changes with complex patterns were observed in partially edentulous group when compared with the complete edentulous group.