The patient explains her dental issues.

3 Common Signs and Symptoms of A Vertical Root Fracture

Do you know that a vertical root fracture is one of the most frustrating complications of root canal therapy? This kind of tooth fracture frequently shows minimal indications and may therefore go unnoticed for quite a while. That is why getting regular dental checkups may help identify early dental problems such as this. If you are in Australia and want to get excellent dental care services, click here. Making an appointment with a qualified dentist is a necessary step you need to protect your smile. Keep reading to learn more about vertical root fractures and how you can address them.


What is a Vertical Root Fracture?

Vertical root fractures are a kind of fracture of a tooth. Their cracks start in the root of the tooth and expand toward the biting surface. Dentists usually discover vertical root fractures when the surrounding bone and gum of the patient become infected. In most cases, this incidence happens in endodontically treated teeth and in patients over 40 years old.

A complete vertical root fracture is frequently a tragic case reported in dentistry as tooth extraction is generally the only dental procedure. Hence, you may need another dental care treatment to hide a missing or extracted tooth. In addition, vertical root fracture is more probable where teeth have gone through comprehensive prior treatment. Most dentists believed that excessive dentine removal during treatment, such as root canal therapy, weakens the tooth. That is why dental health professionals should avoid extreme canal shaping.

Furthermore, fracturing might also happen because of excessive forces placed on the tooth during compaction of filling material or during reinfection prevention of endodontic treatment. Another thing, trauma or injury can likewise result in crack formation.


Other Type of Fractured Tooth

Other than a vertical root fracture (VRF), there are also four other kinds of tooth fractures. Commonly, these are:


Craze Lines

These are minor cracks that affect the exterior enamel. Fracture lines or craze lines are vertical root fractureusually common in adult teeth. They are incredibly shallow, not an aesthetic issue, and cause no pain.

Fractured Cusp

The cusp is the sharp part of the chewing surface. When it becomes weakened, it may sometimes result in a fracture. This may break off all alone, or you may need the help of a dentist to address it. Once this happens, you will generally get pain relief.

Cracked Tooth

This break expands from the chewing part of the tooth in an upward direction towards the root. At times, the harm may stretch out below the gum line, and in extreme cases, into the root. Usually, root canal treatment is the applicable dental procedure to treat this condition. Know that early diagnosis and treatment for a cracked tooth is necessary. If left untreated, it can cause the loss of the tooth.

Split Tooth

This fracture is often the consequence of the long-term development of a cracked tooth. The dentist often identifies the split tooth because of a crack with specific segments that can be isolated. A split tooth can never be saved unblemished. However, the position and degree of the fracture will determine if the dentist can save any part of the tooth. In uncommon cases, endodontic treatment and a dental crown or other dental restoration may apply to keep a piece of the tooth.

Reasons Why Vertical Root Fractures Happen

Vertical root fractures are generally found in weak teeth, endodontically treated teeth, and other restorative procedures such as crown placements. In any case, bear in mind that healthy teeth can likewise be subject to fractures or cracks by biting on hard objects and foods, like ice. In particular, when a dentist performs the root canal treatment, a clicking sound, jolt of pain, or bleeding in the canal may also indicate a vertical root fracture that occurred during the method.

Detection of Vertical Root Fractures in Endodontically Treated Teeth: What Are The Symptoms?

Symptoms of tooth fractures can differ, making this a troublesome condition for a dentist to diagnose. Nonetheless, signs and symptoms that you might have a vertical root fracture include:

Temperature Sensitivity

Prolonged sensitivity to cold and heat will start to happen when the nerves of the tooth’s pulp chamber become inflamed or infected. Mostly, cold sensitivity will be the initial side effect you will notice. This demonstrates that a vast arrangement of nerves, called the A-filaments, have become aggravated. Therefore, respond to cold at a more uplifted level than the nerves in other teeth. Lingering sensitivity will turn out to be more apparent as the inflammation arrives at the C-fibers, a smaller arrangement of nerves that lie further in the pulp chamber. Once these nerves become disturbed, patients will notice that cold or heat causes pain in that area or the tooth itself.

Chewing or Biting Sensitivity

The pulp stretches out from the tooth’s crown to the roots, where it interfaces with the ligament surrounding the tip. When you have an inflamed pulp, the inflammation can spread to the periodontal ligament that encompasses the root. Inflammation in this part can cause pressure and may somewhat lift the tooth out of its regular socket, making tenderness in chewing and biting. Over time, the inflamed ligament and pulp can become infected, which eventually destroys the pulp. The side-effects of the pulp destruction alongside the infection leave the tooth, damage the ligament, and gradually break down the root’s jawbone. In addition, you can develop an abscess once the bone loss starts.


As an abscess continues to progress, more and more bone loss happens. Eventually, if not treated, the infection can spread to the gum tissues encompassing the tooth. These tissues The dentist checks the patient's mouth.become a source for contamination, and a periodontal pocket between the bone and tissue creates. This is when patients start to have swelling symptoms. Sometimes, rather than a pocket, the infection will make an exit out of the tissues. This typically shows up as a bit of bump or pimple utilized as a drainage site for the condition. Patients in this situation regularly have not many manifestations since the dentist can relieve the pressure by the drainage. However, they can experience bad breath and awful taste at this stage.

If you experience something unusual in your teeth, it is essential to consult your dentist. A dental professional or endodontist may diagnose fractured teeth during a root canal treatment. Suppose fracture happens after the treatment, they may have to take X-rays, which might show the fractured root naturally shaped like the letter J. Also, the dental specialist may use other diagnostic methods known as transillumination. They use light through your tooth to identify if you have a fracture line.

Treatment of Vertical Root Fractures

An evaluation of endodontically treated teeth is necessary. In fact, there are various clinical and radiographic examinations to diagnose and treat a vertical root fracture.

Most dentists would like to perform dental bonding for teeth with vertical root fractures. They can also address vertical root fracture using a mineral trioxide aggregate to repair the teeth and stop the propagation of the fracture. Additionally, most specialists recommend intentional replantation of vertically fractured roots as an alternative to tooth extraction. This technique treats a fracture line using adhesive resin cement. However, most of the time, tooth extraction is the most successful treatment of VRF.

To prevent dealing with the fallout of a vertical root fracture, here are some helpful tips you can do to protect your teeth:

  • These damages generally happen in teeth treated with an endodontic procedure. Keep away from this treatment if possible. This implies planning regular dental checkups so your dentist can identify issues early and help you keep cavities from developing in the first place.
  • Suppose you need endodontic treatment. In that case, get some information about the root canal filling method your dentist will apply. Also, examine how to lessen your fracture risk, like keeping away from post-placement.

If you think you have vertical root fractures, talk with your dentist. They will assist you with identifying the cause of your symptoms. Then, they can give you the appropriate treatment to keep your teeth and smile healthy.



How do you know if you have a cracked tooth?

Restoration of endodontically treated teeth.

How to Recognize the 5 Types of Tooth Cracks.

Sensitive Teeth.

Overview – Root canal treatment.

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