Diagnosis and possible causes of vertical root fractures

By Meister F Jr, Lommel TJ, Gerstein H

Date: 01/1980
Journal: OOO


Cases of vertical root fracture studied to attempt to identify causes and symptoms.


  • N=32 cases of vertical root fracture
  • 32 cases of vertical root fracture examined, records obtained
  • Full flap exploratory surgery was used for diagnosis


  • in all patients except for 2, osseus defects were present that could be probed
  • 65.63% of patients had only mild pain or dull discomfort
  • 75% showed diffuse widening of PDL
  • excess lateral condensation forces are suggested to cause 84.38% of fractures
  • secondary causes include forcing or tapping inlays or dowels/posts into place
  • 78.13% of patients were older than 40 y/o

Clinical Significance:

Vertical root fractures are often in root canal treated teeth and have associated osseus and probing defects.