Detection of vertical root fractures by using cone-beam computed tomography: a clinical study. Academic Article uri icon


  • INTRODUCTION: Vertical root fractures of teeth (VRFs) often pose a diagnostic dilemma because of the difficulty in detection of these in intraoral radiographs except in certain cases with very distinct clinical findings. This often leads to unwarranted extraction of the tooth. Cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) produces three-dimensional images and allows precise visualization and evaluation of VRFs or cracks in extracted teeth, as reported previously. This clinical pilot study was designed to determine the diagnostic accuracy of noninvasive CBCT for detection of suspected VRFs in endodontically treated teeth by using exploratory surgery to confirm the presence or absence of a fracture. METHODS: Thirty-two teeth in 29 patients with clinical signs and symptoms suggestive of VRF were included in the study after informed consent was obtained. They underwent a limited area CBCT evaluation. All CBCT studies were blinded, and 2 board-certified oral and maxillofacial radiologists assessed the presence or absence of VRF through sequential evaluation of the three-dimensional volume. Subjects underwent surgical exploration as part of treatment, which helped establish the presence or absence of VRF. RESULTS: Pearson correlation coefficient by using surgical finding to confirm presence/absence of fracture was 0.602, positive predictive value was 91%, and negative predictive value was 67%. The sensitivity was 88%, and specificity was 75%. CONCLUSIONS: This study revealed the superior diagnostic accuracy of CBCT for detection of VRF.

published proceedings

  • J Endod

altmetric score

  • 1.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Edlund, M., Nair, M. K., & Nair, U. P.

citation count

  • 130

complete list of authors

  • Edlund, Mitchell||Nair, Madhu K||Nair, Umadevi P

publication date

  • June 2011