What to do About a Partially Displaced Tooth

What to do About a Partially Displaced Tooth

It’s estimated that about five million teeth get knocked out every year, with kids and adults having almost equal risk. This doesn’t even count the number of teeth that don’t quite get knocked out, but are partially dislodged or loosened.   

At the dental practice of Dr. Padmaja Yalamanchili in Fairfax, Virginia, emergency dentistry services include dealing with a partially displaced tooth. Here’s everything you need to know about keeping your tooth stable until you can get to our office.

Don’t panic

A displaced tooth can almost be more alarming than one that is completely knocked out. You may be able to feel the tooth wobbling in the socket, or that it is suddenly shorter or longer than the teeth on either side, although nothing seems to be chipped off or broken. Staying calm is the first step.

If someone is with you, they can help you by calling your dentist while you start taking steps to protect your tooth. If you suffered a suspected concussion, go straight to the ER instead; they have dental specialists there as well who can stabilize your tooth while you get your head checked out.

Don’t wiggle, pull, or put pressure on your tooth

As tempting as it may be, don’t try to push or pull the tooth back into alignment, and resist any temptation to wiggle it or try to extract it. This will just cause more tissue damage and could result in the need to extract your tooth completely when it could have been saved if you’d left it alone.


Rinse your mouth with room temperature water, and apply gauze to any bleeding areas while you call your dentist for an emergency visit. We can usually fix a displaced tooth and avoid extraction if the tooth itself is undamaged and intact. 

Be prepared for a tooth-saving procedure

Depending on how your tooth is displaced, Dr. Yalamanchili has several treatment options at her disposal. In some cases, a minor tooth luxation may not require treatment, as the tooth will naturally move back into its original position. However, severe cases of tooth intrusion into the gum or extrusion from the gum can require surgical or orthodontic intervention.

If the tooth is very loose or hanging out, a resin splint may be used to stabilize it. If the root of the tooth has been severely damaged, you may need a root canal to prevent pain and infection from setting in. If the tooth is damaged, extraction and a dental implant may be the best way to restore your smile.

If you need emergency dental care, call Dr. Yalamanchili at our office at 703-213-5313 or book your appointment online today.

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