Background and Objectives:

Human identification is the forensic odontologist’s primary duty in the fields like violent crime, child abuse, elder abuse, missing persons and mass disaster scenarios. In each context, dental traits may produce compelling evidence to aid victim identity, suspect identity and narrow down the outcome of investigative casework. Sometimes it becomes necessary to apply some least known and less popular techniques in identification procedure where lip prints, rugae patterns and canine odontometrics can give us comparatively valid conclusions pertaining to person’s identification. This study elucidates the significance of cheiloscopy, palatoscopy and canine odontometry in sex prediction and discrimination.

Materials and Methods:

A cross- sectional study involving a total of 60 subjects, 30 males and 30 females were selected from the outpatient department of oral medicine and radiology. Lip prints were recorded using lipstick, palatal impressions were taken with alginate and odontometric measurements were taken with digital vernier calipers from every subject. All the obtained records were analyzed by two observers.


Reliability of lip prints was assessed using Kappa coefficient. Comparison of rugae patterns was done using Chi-square test. Mean canine and inter canine width was compared using t test. A p-value of <0.05 was considered significant. Statistically significant difference was found with the different lip print patterns analyzed in males and females, while no significant difference was observed in the rugae patterns but a significant difference in the mesio-distal width of mandibular canines in males and females was found with right mandibular canine(3.73%) showing greater sexual dimorphism compared to left mandibular canine(3.06%).


This study shows the uniqueness of the lip prints and rugae patterns with the lip prints showing sensitivity of 81.7% giving reliable prediction of sex over palatoscopy. Hence, cheiloscopy along with the canine odontometrics aid in sex determination and can be considered as an ancilliary forensic tool in identification.

Keyword: Forensic identification, lip prints, mandibular canine index, rugae patterns, sex discrimination.
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