The objectives of the study were to, 1. Compare the accuracy of four methods of acquisition of palatal rugae (PR) characteristics (PRC). 2. Study the predominant PRC in Angles Class 1, 2, and 3 malocclusions. 3. To statistically correlate the predominant PRC with Class 1, 2 & 3 malocclusions and thus explore the possibility of utilizing it in predicting malocclusions. Study casts and intraoral 3D scan images (3Shape® Intra-Oral Scanner) of the palate of 104 healthy orthodontic patients were included as Group I and Group II respectively. The casts of Group I were scanned using 3Shape® (Group III) and Sirona inEos X5® (Group IV) cast scanners. PRC for all groups were recorded and PRC of Group I was compared with PRC of Groups II, III and IV for possible matching. 3D images of Group IV were further divided according to Angles classification and predominant PRC analyzed. 97.8 % of PRC match was observed in Group I and Group IV. Wavy and complex rugae were predominant in Class 1 and 3 malocclusions and showed statistically significant difference between Class 1, 2 and 3 malocclusions (p=0.00 and 0.014 respectively) with wavy being higher in Class 1 and complex being higher in Class 3 (LSD Post Hoc analysis). Direct intraoral 3D scanning and 3D scanning of the palatal area of casts are equally reliable methods for PR acquisition for examining PRC. All PRC considered together have a minimal impact on prediction of malocclusions, however, influence of wavy characteristic was maximum.
KEY WORDS: Palatal rugae; Malocclusion; Angle class I; Angle class II; Angle class III.