Identification of individuals is a challenging task in forensic odontology. In circumstances where identification of an individual by fingerprint or dental record comparison is difficult, the palatal rugae may be considered as an alternative source. Palatal rugae have been shown to be highly individualistic and it maintains consistency in shape throughout life.
Aims and Objectives:
The present study is conducted to test the efficiency of computerized software in the identification of individuals after obtaining digital photographic images of the rugae.
Materials and Methods:
The intra oral photographs of 100 individuals were taken using a SLR digital camera. The custom made external attachment was attached to the camera to standardize all the photographs. A special software was designed called the Palatal Rugae Comparison Software (PRCS Version 2.0) to match the clinical photographs. Five evaluators including 3 dentists, 1 computer professional, and 1 general surgeon were asked to match the rugae pattern using the software. The results were recorded along with time taken by each operator to match all the photos using software.
The software recorded an accuracy of 99% in identification of individuals.
The present study supports the fact of individuality of the rugae. Computerized method has given very good results to support the individualization of rugae. Through our study, we feel that palatal rugae patterns will be of great use in the future of forensic odontology.