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BACKGROUND: Orthodontic evaluation of lip print patterns for each lip type and incisal class in our environment may also play a role in accumulating an additional database for diagnosis. Individual identification and evaluation of the lip pattern and print may also be an important tool in forensic evaluation in environments of crime, conflict and terror attacks.
AIM: To compare lip print pattern, lip classification and incisal relationship in a Nigerian population and to highlight the need to establish lip prints as an adjunctive tool for diagnostic and forensic analysis.
METHODS: A total number of 170 participants (57 males and 113 females) had their lips analyzed visually with the aid of a magnifying glass, after transparent tape was placed over the lips, which had red lipstick evenly spread with a brush over the upper and lower lips. Lip competencies (Jackson’s classification) and incisal class (British Standard Classification of Malocclusion) was also assessed.
RESULTS: Five lip patterns were identified with the vertical being the highest number in 86(50.6%) and the undetermined the lowest in 3(1.8%). Lip competency was highest in Jacksons position 3/1 in males (n=44, 77.2%) and in position 2/2 in females (n=38, 33.6%).There was no gender association between the five lip patterns. There was however a significant relationship between the lip print patterns and the various lip competencies classified (P=0.001). Incisal class I relationship showed a higher value in the branched (n=18, 52.9%) and undetermined (n=2, 66.7%) lip pattern while the intersected (n=10, 62.6%), reticular (n=18, 58.1%) and vertical (n=44, 51.2%) lip patterns were predominant in the incisal class III relationship.
CONCLUSION: The prevalent lip print pattern in this study is the vertical type. Incisal class III relationship is most prevalent in this study. A significant relationship exists between lip print patterns, incisal class and lip competency. These lip print patterns is a possible forensic data base useful in solving crime, war and terrorist activities.