Alveolar fracture - diagnostic signs

Description A fracture of the alveolar process which may or may not involve the alveolar bone socket.

Teeth associated with alveolar fractures are characterized by mobility of the alveolar process; several teeth typically will move as a unit when mobility is checked. Occlusal interference is often present
Visual signs Displacement of an alveolar segment. An occlusal change due to misalignment of the fractured alveolar segment is often noted. This may cause occlusal interference.
Percussion test Tenderness to percussion.
Mobility test Entire segment mobile and moves as a unit.
Sensibility pulp test Not reliable in primary teeth. Inconsistent results.
Radiographic findings The vertical line of the fracture may run along the PDL or in the septum. The horizontal line may be located apical at the apex or coronal to the apex. An associated root fracture may be present. The horizontal fracture line may run at any level in regard to the permanent tooth germs. The radiograph will give valuable information in the assessment of the risk for damage to the permanent teeth.

A lateral radiograph may give further information about the spatial relation between the two dentitions.
Radiographs recommended An occlusal exposure.

Dental Trauma Guide 2010 - produced in cooperation with the Resource Centre for Rare Oral Diseases and Department of Oral and Maxillo-Facial Surgery
at the University Hospital of Copenhagen - Last edited the 07-01-2014.