A vertical root fracture (VRF) is a frustrating complication that may occur following root canal treatment, and in almost every case leads to the extraction of the affected tooth. This type of fracture is usually diagnosed by secondary symptoms that develop some time after primary treatment, often when prosthodontic restoration has already been completed. The fracture line itself is often not directly visible, and therefore clinical and radiographic signs and symptoms indicate the diagnosis indirectly. Knowledge of the condition and pathogenesis of VRF is required in order to avoid hopeless trials of periodontal and/or endodontic therapy. Several etiologic factors are discussed that make teeth susceptible to VRF, such as the loss of substance due to restorative and endodontic therapy and stress factors associated with root canal debridement, and filling.
Keywords: dentinal cracks, endo-perio lesion, halo effect, root canal treatment, vertical root fracture