Root Fractures – Vertical

Definition: A vertical root fracture is a fracture through the root in a vertical direction (just like the name).

Radiographic Features:

Location: This can occur with any tooth.  Most commonly occurs through the root canal space creating an enlarged root canal space.

Edge: Well-defined.

Shape: Linear.

Internal: Radiolucent.

Other: There may or may not be separation of the two root segments.

Number: This may be single or multiple.

(click image to enlarge)

Vertical root fracture

(maxillary right lateral incisor (#7) with separation of two root segments)

(left – with arrow) (right – without arrow)

Vertical root fracture

(maxillary left second premolar (#13) with separation of two root segments)

Vertical root fracture

(mesial root of mandibular right first molar (#30) note the separation of two segments and increased width of root canal space)

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