Quantitative description of the morphology of the human palate by a mathematical equation

Virgilio F. Ferrario, Chiarella Sforza, Johannes H. Schmitz, Anna Colombo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To derive a three-dimensional mathematical description of normal human hard tissue palatal size and shape. Methods: The maxillary dental casts of 30 adolescents free from respiratory problems, who had a complete (28 teeth) permanent sound dentition with normal occlusion, were studied. The x, y, z coordinates of several standardized palatal and dental landmarks were obtained with a computerized three-dimensional digitizer. Palatal landmarks were used to derive a mathematical equation of palatal shape in the frontal and sagittal planes. Palatal width, length, frontal and sagittal heights, and sagittal slope, as well as dental arch transverse and anteroposterior dimensions, were computed. Results: Neither the size nor the shape of the palate was significantly influenced by gender. Only the intercanine distance was larger (p <.025) in males than in females. Conclusions: Data collected in the present investigation could represent a first database for the quantitative description of normal human palatal morphology in subjects with a complete permanent dentition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)396-401
Number of pages6
JournalCleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1998


  • Human
  • Mathematical model
  • Morphometry
  • Palate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Dentistry(all)


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