To analyze the accuracy rate of a digital image recognition system in matching the palatal rugae Morphology after orthodontic treatment, before orthodontic treatment and to provide theoretical evidence for individual identification in the field of forensic dentistry. High-resolution digital images of the palatal rugae were taken under particular conditions from each patient before and after orthodontic treatment. Features of each digital image were extracted using a digital image recognition system and included in the palatal rugae database. Using an MATLAB software system, information matching of the palatal rugae was performed. From the matching results, the accuracy rate of individual identification of orthodontic patients was 100 %, with a Euclidean distance of 0. The accuracy rate in matching palatal rugae patterns before and after orthodontic treatment was 95.67 %. The results were statistically significant with P < 0.05. Palatal rugae pattern is highly individual-specific. After orthodontic treatment, palatal rugae are morphologically diverse, but these changes do not greatly influence the individual identification in the field of forensic dentistry, which provides a new method of and pathway to forensic identification.
KEY WORDS: Forensic anthropology; Forensic stomatology; Palatal rugae; Identification; Orthodontic treatment.