Root Fracture Diagnosis

Teeth that have begun to crack can be detected through visible examination, but visual detection of a crack is only one aspect of a thorough diagnostic evaluation. A crack alone doesn't provide enough information to properly determine the status of the pulp or periapical tissues. In most cases further diagnostic testing should be performed to determine the extent of the issue. 

In order to provide an extensive diagnosis of a possible root fracture Dr. McKenzie utilizes both digital radiography and 3-dimensional cone beam technology to diagnose and treat cracked or fractured teeth.

We are able to save cracked or fractured teeth in some cases because we provide thorough diagnosis to property identify and classify cracks/fractures, understand and evaluate symptoms, and we always advise to have regular check-ups to detect cracks/fractures as early as possible.

Defining Crack Types

The choice in treatment typically is determined based on the location, direction, and the extent of a crack, which is why a comprehensive diagnosis to provide clarity is so important. With that said there are five types of tooth fractures that includes:

  • Vertical Root Fracture
  • Cracked Tooth
  • Craze Lines
  • Split Tooth
  • Fractured Cusp

Possible symptoms

Symptoms are usually characterized by acute pain due to the chewing of grainy, tough foods, and brief pain with cold foods/drinks. This can be related to cusp fracture, but cracked teeth may have a variety of symptoms ranging from slight to very severe spontaneous pain consistent with irreversible pulpitis, pulp necrosis or apical periodontitis.

Detection and Confirmation

If a crack is suspected, there are several steps you should take to confirm the suspicion, steps include:

  • Dental History
  • Periodontal Probing
  • Subjective Examination
  • Radiographic Examination
  • Objective Visual Examination
  • Restoration Removal
  • Tactile Examination
  • Staining
  • Periapical Tests
  • Transillumination
  • Bite Tests
  • Wedging Forces
  • Vitality Testing
  • Surgical Assessment