The aim of this study was to determine if the palatal rugae are stable, and if they can be used as stable landmarks in longitudinal cast analysis.
In our study we have used earlier investigations as a basis for knowledge and supported those with our own pilot study. Two casts from Oslo Craniofacial Archives were analyzed by optical scanning at the age of 6- and 12 years. The measurement of the 12-year casts was used as reference for the 6-year casts. The 3-D images of the 6-year models were each superimposed onto the reference model in the computer. The cast were scanned and analyzed.
The rugae morphology seemed to be stable during normal growth and development. In patients who have received radically orthodontic treatment the rugae position can be markedly changed. The most reliable points were found to be the medial- and lateral third rugae points, which could be used as stable landmarks in longitudinal cast analysis.
These findings suggest that ruga landmarks can be used as reliably as cephalometric superimposition to assess anteroposterior molar movements.