Dental luxation

Last revised by Yuranga Weerakkody on 19 May 2021

Dental luxation is a common manifestation of dental trauma and may be associated with socket fractures.  

Dental luxation is a general term encompassing 1:

  • concussion: tender tooth, no loosening/displacement
  • subluxation: tender tooth, loosening without displacement
  • extrusive luxation: marked loosening, tooth appears longer/displaced
  • lateral luxation: displacement without loosening
  • intrusive luxation: displacement into alveolar bone
  • avulsion: tooth is out of socket

Widening of the periodontal ligament space (PLS) and displacement of teeth are key to diagnosis 1,2:

  • concussion: normal
  • subluxation: usually normal
  • extrusive luxation: apical PLS widening
  • lateral luxation: asymmetric PLS widening with alveolar fracture
  • intrusive luxation: reduced/absent PLS with tooth intruding into alveolar bone
  • avulsion: empty socket
  • orthodontic treatment can mimic extrusive luxation with widening of the apical PLS 1

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