Objectives: The present study was aimed to provide data on palatal indices, and to describe the osteological and morphological variations in the grooves and bony prominences of the hard palate, and thus to compare the same with the work of other authors. Methods: 100 dry, sexed, adult human skulls were studied from sources in various Medical Colleges of Gujarat, and palatal indices were measured with Vernier callipers to the nearest 0.1 mm. The percentage frequencies of spines, crests, variant sutures, and longitudinal grooves were determined. Results: The values for Palatine index showed that 63% of the total sample of skulls had narrow (leptostaphyline), 24% had intermediate (mesostaphyline), and 13% had wide (brachystaphyline) palates; while the Palatine height index showed that 42% of the total sample had low (chamestaphyline), 54% had intermediate (orthostaphyline), and 4% had deep (hypsistaphyline) palates. Longitudinal palatal grooves were found bilaterally in all the palates, with 86.5% having crests along their length. Incisive suture was seen in 8% of the adult skulls studied. Conclusion: A knowledge of Palatal indices would be helpful to the surgeons during repair of the cleft palate and/or lip, and to anthropologists. Further, the anatomical variations in the grooves, crests and spines on the hard palate may be of clinical significance in the administration of local anaesthesia, and in palatal surgery and prosthetic dentistry. [Dave M et al NJIRM 2013; 4(1) : 7-11]
Palatal indices, Hard palate, Crests, Grooves, Cleft palate.