Dislodged Tooth

Dental injuries have become quite common nowadays. From tooth fracture to tooth avulsion, many types of damages can take place depending on the type of source.

One of the most common tooth injuries is extrusion, also known as, partially displaced tooth.

Ideally, partial dislodgment of a tooth can be both outwards or into the socket.

Extrusion specifically denotes outward displacement of the tooth while still being connected to the underlying jaw bone and tissues.

Extrusion gives the tooth an appearance of falling out. The tooth becomes mobile and can even get avulsed if manipulated vigorously.

Some of the symptoms of tooth extrusion may include pain, discomfort, difficulty in chewing, and mild swelling.

While you can manage the symptoms temporarily, professional dental treatment can help to fix the tooth and save it from getting avulsed permanently.

Today’s article is an informative one. We’ll talk about how tooth extrusion occurs and discuss the treatment options available to save the tooth.

What do you mean by extrusion?

Tooth extrusion is defined as a dislodgment of the tooth out of the socket. The tooth, in this case, looks a little elongated, mobile and gives an appearance of falling out.

However, the tooth is still intact and connected to the underlying jaw bone and periodontal tissues. This stage indicates unimpaired blood flow and neural activity.

Often these features play an essential role in deciding whether to save the tooth or extract it.  (1)

In a radiograph, an extruded tooth will show more space between the tooth and the socket lining of the underlying bone.

What causes tooth extrusion?

Extrusion of a tooth can be a result of traumatic incidents, for example, dental injury while playing contact sports like –

  • Football
  • Basketball
  • Boxing
  • Traumatic Fall

What are the signs and symptoms of extrusion?

The signs and symptoms of tooth extrusions commonly include –

  • Pain and discomfort
  • Redness and swelling in the gums surrounding the affected tooth
  • Mobility of the tooth
  • Tooth appears to be elongated or falling out of the socket
  • Difficulty in chewing
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Food lodgement
  • In rare cases, bleeding from the socket may be seen

How can you manage the dislodgment?

The signs and symptoms of tooth extrusion are often the deciding factors of the possibility of partial dislodgment of a tooth out of the socket.

Once you identify the problem, it is advised to contact your dentist for professional help immediately. Meanwhile, there are simple steps that you can follow to avoid unnecessary damage to the affected tooth.

Following are the steps that you can follow –

  • Do not try to manipulate the tooth on your own
  • Do not try to remove the tooth from the socket
  • The pain and discomfort can be relieved by taking an over-the-counter pain reliever
  • Apply cold compressions using an ice pack or cold, wet towel. This method helps to reduce the pain as well as soothe the swelling that may have occurred as a result of the traumatic injury.

What are the treatments available for tooth extrusion?

Professional dental treatment for tooth extrusion depends on the severity of the damage. Additionally, it depends if the tooth is a primary one or a permanent tooth.

  • For the primary tooth, the tooth can either be reattached to the socket considering intact blood vessels and nerves. Otherwise, the tooth is extracted, and space is maintained for permanent tooth eruption.
  • In the case of a permanent tooth, priority is given to the process of reattachment.

The process of reattachment is initiated by applying local anesthesia. After that, the following methods of tooth reattachment can be used to save the extruded tooth –

  • Orthodontic brackets secured with a wire that connects the brackets and allows inward movement of the tooth. (2)
  • Use of a metal mesh or synthetic cloth to bond the extruded tooth to the surrounding teeth.
  • Resin materials have also shown to be helpful to bond the extruded tooth with the adjacent teeth by placing a wire as support.

Ideally, any of these methods can be used for 7-10 days, which will allow the tooth to heal back into the socket.

Follow up with your dentist after ten days to check the vitality of the tooth. Sometimes, a root canal treatment may be required to treat the tooth that has started to discolor or develop an abscess.

A tooth crown is then suggested to maintain the strength and functionality of the root canal treated tooth. (3)

In other cases, where the extent of damage is not evident immediately after the incident, the dentist may advise you to wait for two-three weeks.

Further tests to check the vitality and blood flow are performed, and the tooth is treated appropriately by any of the methods mentioned above.

Take away message

Tooth extrusion is a common form of dental injury. In this case, the tooth gets partially dislodged out of the socket.

Tooth extrusion is often caused by a traumatic blow to the face while playing contact sports like football, basketball, hockey, boxing, and many more.

Typical signs and symptoms include redness and swelling of the gums surrounding the tooth, mobility, pain, and discomfort, along with difficulty in chewing food.

Whenever such an incident happens, inform the dentist immediately. Meanwhile,  try not to manipulate the tooth on your own, take over-the-counter pain medication, and apply cold compressions.

Tooth extrusion can occur both in a child with primary teeth or an adult with permanent teeth. The treatment varies in both cases.

First extruded tooth is often extracted or reattached based on the vitality of the tooth, whereas the treatment for permanent tooth is emphasized more on reattachment followed by root canal treatment.

Tooth extrusion is time-sensitive if you suspect tooth extrusion, make sure to contact the dentist immediately to save the tooth.