Lateral luxation - Diagnostic signs

Description Displacement of the tooth other than axially. Displacement is accompanied by comminution or fracture of either the labial or the palatal/lingual alveolar bone.

Palatal/lingual luxation of the maxillary incisors may result in occlusal interference expressed by premature contact with the opponent teeth.

Lateral luxation injuries, similar to extrusion injuries, are characterized by partial or total separation of the periodontal ligament. However, lateral luxations are complicated by fracture of either the labial or the palatal/lingual alveolar bone and a compression zone in the cervical and sometimes the apical area. If both sides of the alveolar socket have been fractured, the injury should be classified as an alveolar fracture (alveolar fractures rarely affect only a single tooth). In most cases of lateral luxation the apex of the tooth has been forced into the bone by the displacement, and the tooth is frequently non-mobile.
Visual signs Displaced, usually in a palatal/lingual or labial direction.
Percussion test Usually gives a high metallic (ankylotic) sound.
Mobility test Usually non-mobile.
Sensibility test Not reliable in primary teeth. Inconsistent results.
Radiographic findings Increased periodontal ligament space apically is best seen on the occlusal exposure.
Radiographs recommended An occlusal exposure can sometimes show the position of the displaced tooth and its relation to the permanent successor.

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.