OK, we’re going to get a bit technical here and explain the difference between the commonly confused vertical root fracture and cracked tooth. Dentists like to be specific, and an accurate diagnosis will assist in determining appropriate treatment.
The reference for this is the American Association of Endodontics publication, “Cracking the Cracked Tooth Code: Detection and Treatment of Various Longitudinal Tooth Fractures”
A tooth with a crack that starts in the crown of the tooth and extends towards the apex is considered to be a cracked tooth. Further progression of the crack to the apex, resulting in separation of the crack is defined as a split tooth.
When we discuss a vertical root fracture, VRF, we are talking about a crack that starts in the root of the tooth. It doesn’t have to start at the apex. Mostly, VRF are associated with previously root filled teeth.
So there you have it. No more incorrect diagnoses. Go here for more on how to diagnose cracked teeth.