Three-dimensional hard tissue palatal size and shape: a 10-year longitudinal evaluation in healthy adults.

Virgilio F. Ferrario, Chiarella Sforza, Claudia Dellavia, Anna Colombo, Raffaella P. Ferrari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A 10-year longitudinal evaluation of the morphology (size and shape) of hard tissue palate was performed in 6 female and 6 male healthy adults (mean age at the second evaluation was 33 years, SD = 2.2). All subjects had a complete permanent dentition, including the second molars, and were free from respiratory problems. Palatal landmarks were digitized with a computerized 3D instrument, and their coordinates were used to derive a mathematical model of palatal form. Palatal shape (size-independent) was assessed by a fourth-grade polynomial in the sagittal and frontal plane projections. Palatal dimensions in the frontal and sagittal planes were computed and compared between the 2 evaluations by paired Student t tests. A great variability was observed, and no significant modifications in size were found (P > .05 for all variables). No variations in shape were observed. Sex had no significant effect for any variable (Student t for independent samples, P > .05). This study showed that in healthy subjects, hard tissue palatal morphology does not seem to change between the third and the fourth decades of life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-58
Number of pages8
JournalThe International journal of adult orthodontics and orthognathic surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002


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