top of page

Dental Injury



  • Upper central incisors are most frequently injured

  • Need to inform patient of risk of dental damage whenever manipulating airway

  • Can be caused by:

    • Intubation

    • LMA placement

    • Suctioning

    • Extubation

    • After extubation (i.e. biting down on OPA)

  • Risk factors:

    • Difficult intubation

    • Poor dentition

    • Previous dental work

  • Major morbidity if tooth fragments aspirated into airway



  • Dislodged teeth should be put in saline

  • Ensure all tooth fragments are found and removed

  • Consult dentistry




  • Careful technique

  • Choose VL over DL

  • Consider use of mouth guard during DL/VL

  • Use muscle relaxants

  • Use bite block


  • Berkow, LC. Complications of airway management in adults. In: UpToDate, Hagberg, CA (Ed), UpToDate, Waltham, MA, 2023.


bottom of page