Vertical root fractures associated with endodontically treated teeth and less commonly in vital teeth represent one of the most difficult clinical problems to diagnose and treat. In as much as there are no specific symptoms, diagnosis can be difficult. Clinical detection of this condition by endodontists is becoming more frequent, where as it is rather underestimated by the general practitioners. Since, vertical root fractures almost exclusively involve endodontically treated teeth; it often becomes difficult to differentiate a tooth with this condition from an endodontically failed one or one with concomitant periodontal involvement. Also, a tooth diagnosed for vertical root fracture is usually extracted, though attempts to reunite fractured root have been done in various studies with varying success rates. Early detection of a fractured root and extraction of the tooth maintain the integrity of alveolar bone for placement of an implant. Cone beam computed tomography has been shown to be very accurate in this regard. This article focuses on the diagnostic and treatment strategies, and discusses about predisposing factors which can be useful in the prevention of vertical root fractures.
Keywords: CBCT; VRF; etiopathogenesis; intracanal procedures; prognosis; treatment strategies.