Emergency Treatment of Athletic Dental Injuries

Treatment Card - English

Treatment Card - French

Treatment Card - Portuguese

Treatment Card - Spanish


Treatment cards for distribution may be obtained through the Academy for Sports Dentistry at 612-440-7125.

Professionally-made, properly fitted Custom Mouthguards are recommended for all contact and collision sports.

Avulsion (Entire Tooth Knocked Out)

  1. Avoid additional trauma to tooth while handling. Do Not handle tooth by the root. Do Not brush or scrub tooth. Do Not sterilize tooth.
  2. If debris is on tooth, gently rinse with water.
  3. If possible, reimplant tooth and stabilize by biting down gently on the towel or handkerchief. Do only if athlete is alert and conscious.
  4. If unable to reimplant:
    • Best - Place tooth in a physiologic transport medium (e.g. Hank's Balanced Saline Solution)
    • 2nd best - Place tooth in milk.
    • 3rd best - Wrap tooth in saline-soaked gauze.
    • 4th best - Place tooth under athlete's tongue. Do this ONLY if athlete is conscious and alert.
  5. Time is very important. Reimplant within 30 minutes has the highest degree of success rate. Transport Immediately to Dentist.

Luxation (Tooth in socket, but wrong position)

Three Positions

  1. Extruded Tooth - Upper tooth hangs downs and/or lower tooth raised up.
    • Reposition tooth in socket using firm finger pressure.
    • Stabilize tooth by gently biting on towel or handkerchief.
    • Transport Immediately to Dentist.
  2. Lateral Displacement - Tooth pushed back or pulled forward.
    • Try to reposition tooth using finger pressure.
    • Athlete may require local anesthetic to reposition tooth; if so, stabilize tooth by gently biting on towel or handkerchief.
    • Transport Immediately to Dentist.
  3. Intuded Tooth - Tooth pushed into gum - looks short.
    • Do nothing - avoid any repositioning of tooth.
    • Transport Immediately to Dentist.

Fracture (Broken Tooth)

  1. If tooth is totally broken in half, save the broken portion and bring to the dental office as described under Avulsion, Item 4. Stabilize portion of tooth left in mouth by gently biting on towel or handkerchief to control bleeding.
  2. Should extreme pain occur, limit contact with other teeth, air or tongue. Pulp nerve may be exposed, which is extremely painful to athlete.
  3. Immediately Transport Patient and Tooth Fragments to Dentist.

For best transport of a knocked-out tooth/teeth use Save-A-Tooth tooth preserving system.

www.Save-A-Tooth.com or call 1-888-788-6684.

The Academy for Sports Dentistry gratefully acknowledge the support of Dr. Samuel D. Harris for partially funding this public service project. The Academy would also like to acknowledge Dr. Alex Della Bella of Cincinnati, Ohio for the development of this piece. The Academy for Sports Dentistry, a professional organization dedicated to the dental needs of athletes at risk to sports injuries, recommends that every sports medicine team includes a dentist knowledgeable in sports dentistry.

Properly Fitted Mouthguards Should Be Standard Equipment