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Correlation of morphological variants of the soft palate and Need's ratio in normal individuals: A digital cephalometric study

  • Verma, Pradhuman (Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Surendera Dental College and Research Institute) ;
  • Verma, Kanika Gupta (Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Surendera Dental College and Research Institute) ;
  • Kumaraswam, Kikkeri Lakshminarayana (Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology, Farooqia Dental College) ;
  • Basavaraju, Suman (Department of Periodontics, J.S.S Dental College) ;
  • Sachdeva, Suresh K. (Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Surendera Dental College and Research Institute) ;
  • Juneja, Suruchi (Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Surendera Dental College and Research Institute)
  • Received : 2013.10.29
  • Accepted : 2013.12.27
  • Published : 2014.09.30

Abstract

Purpose: The present study was aimed to investigate the variation of soft palate morphology in different age and gender groups. The correlations of radiographic velar length (VL), velar width (VW), pharyngeal depth (PD), and Need's ratio with soft palate variants were also studied in the North Indian subpopulation. Materials and Methods: The study sample consisted of 300 subjects aged between 15 and 45 (mean: 31.32) years. The velar morphology on lateral cephalograms was examined and grouped into six types. The results obtained were subjected to a statistical analysis to find the correlation between variants of the soft palate with gender and different age groups. Results: The most frequent type of soft palate was leaf shaped (48.7%), and the least common was crook shaped (3.0%) among both the genders and various age groups, showing a significant correlation. The mean VL, VW, and PD values were significantly higher in males and significantly correlated with the types of soft palate. A significant correlation was observed between the mean VL, VW, PD, and Need's ratio with various age groups, showing an inconsistent pattern with an increase in age. The types of soft palate, gender, and Need's ratio were also significantly correlated, with an overall higher mean value of the Need's ratio among female subjects and the S-shaped soft palate. Conclusion: The knowledge of a varied spectrum of velar morphology and the variants of the soft palate help in a better understanding of the velopharyngeal closure and craniofacial anomalies.

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