Preexisting Dentinal Microcracks in Nonendodontically Treated Teeth: AnEx VivoMicro–computed Tomographic Analysis

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Abstract

Introduction

This study evaluated the prevalence, location, and pattern of preexisting dentinal microcracks in roots of extracted teeth without endodontic treatment in patients from 2 age groups using micro–computed tomographic imaging.

Methods

Six hundred thirty-three nonendodontically treated teeth extracted using an atraumatic procedure because of reasons unrelated to this study were collected and divided based on the patient age. Teeth were scanned with micro–computed tomographic imaging (resolution of 26.7 μm) to examine the presence of preexisting dentinal microcracks in roots. The characteristic features of preexisting dentinal microcracks determined were location, extent, length, and coronoapical distribution. Chi-square bivariate analysis was performed to assess the association between various parameters.

Results

Forty-five of 633 nonendodontically treated teeth exhibited preexisting microcracks in roots with a prevalence of 7.1%. The prevalence of preexisting microcracks was found to be 8.3% in older patients (40–70 years) compared with 3.7% in younger patients (20–39 years) (P < .050). A significant association was found between the preexisting microcracks in mandibular teeth (10.3%) when compared with maxillary teeth (2.9%) (P < .001). All preexisting microcracks were located mesiodistally; 66% occurred in the cervical and middle thirds of root. Only 33% of the preexisting microcracks were complete in nature, showing canal involvement. Complete dentinal microcracks exhibited a mean length of 6.9 mm, whereas incomplete cracks had a mean length of 3.75 mm (P < .001).

Conclusions

Preexisting dentinal microcracks in roots of nonendodontically treated teeth occurred more often in older patients (40–70 years) in the mesiodistal direction. They were predominantly found in the cervical and middle thirds of root and were more likely to be incomplete in nature.

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