Fracture mechanics analysis of vertical root fracture from condensation of gutta-percha

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A two-dimensional fracture mechanics analysis of vertical root fracture (VRF) in single-canal roots from apical condensation of gutta-percha (gp) is developed. The resulting analytic relation for apical load causing VRF agrees with major trends reported in in-vitro tests on roots subjected to either continuous or, the more clinically relevant, repeating vertical condensation of gp. The model explicitly exposes the role of root canal morphology and dentin fracture toughness on VRF. Ovoid and irregular canals are prone to fracture while the effect of mean root canal radius is modest. Canal taper and instrumentation details may affect VRF only marginally and indirectly. The model predicts dentinal cracks to occur following root canal instrumentation and obturation, which may pose long-term threats to tooth integrity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1673-1678
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2012


  • Crack
  • FEA
  • Lateral condensation
  • Root canal
  • VRF


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