NBA players are no strangers to going all out on the basketball court. Unfortunately, some have had to sacrifice body parts in the process. And because the mouth is one of the least-protected areas of the body, tooth injuries and losses have happened more often than you think.
For instance, Hamidou Diallo of the Detroit Pistons recently sustained a nasty tooth injury after being on the wrong end of a flagrant foul from Los Angeles Lakers big man Thomas Bryant. After the hit, the highflyer immediately ran to the locker room as his tooth got dislodged.
Here are some of the other times players needed to pay a visit to the dental office after an NBA game.
Kris Dunn (2018)
One of the scariest incidents on this list, Dunn's tooth loss came along with a concussion. In the 2017-18 season, the then-Chicago Bulls guard went up for a fastbreak dunk only to slip and fall head-first to the floor. Dunn managed to walk to the locker room on his own but had to miss a few games because of the injury.
Isaiah Thomas (2017)
The 2016-17 campaign was not a good season smile-wise because two NBA players suffered tooth loss within months of each other. Boston Celtics point guard Thomas lost his during the playoffs after his mouth met Otto Porter's elbow. Slo-mo replay showed his tooth flying out onto the court.
Jusuf Nurkic (2017)
The "Bosnian Beast" learned a lesson the hard way during a regular season game in 2017. The Portland Trail Blazers center was trying to go for a rebound when he shoved PJ Tucker for better positioning. However, the 6-foot-5 flailed his arm to sell the foul call and inadvertently hit Nurkic right smack in the mouth. Tucker hit two birds with one stone as he got the call and knocked out Nurkic's two front teeth.
Dennis Schroder (2015)
What will you do if you lose a tooth during a basketball game and want to continue playing? Schroder showed us a technique you might want to use. After he slipped and hit his mouth on Meyers Leonard's knee, Schroder's tooth fell off. Not knowing where to put it, the former Atlanta Hawks point guard decided to insert it into his sock!
Goran Dragic (2015-2016)
The Slovenian point guard partially lost his teeth more than once in the 2015-16 season. Playing then for the Miami Heat, Dragic caught a wayward elbow from Al Horford, hitting him in the face. Unfortunately for the 6-foot-3 guard, he not only chipped a tooth but was also called for a personal foul.
Then later in the same season, Dragic went through some sort of deja vu after saying goodbye to his teeth yet again. But because he already had experience with tooth loss, he simply tossed the tooth to the sideline and continued playing.
Reggie Evans (2013)
Evans was known for his rugged play and for doing the dirty work. So, it was natural for the power forward to get physical with opponents. And during a boxout battle in a regular season game as a member of the 2012-13 Brooklyn Nets, Evans got headbutted in the mouth by an opponent. Unsurprisingly, the 6-foot-8 forward remained in the game and grabbed a customary 20 boards.
Carl Landry (2009)
Back in the 2009-10 season, Houston Rockets enforcer Carl Landry gained some sort of notoriety after seemingly not feeling any pain despite losing five teeth after a collision with Dirk Nowitzki. Do you know who felt intense pain? It was the Dallas Mavericks star after some of Landry's teeth got lodged in his right elbow. After the incident, Nowitzki had to shoot the free throws with his left hand and needed stitches after the tooth extraction.
Steve Nash (2007)
Two-time MVP Nash had become known for having his nose broken multiple times during his career. In addition, he also had to play with a chipped tooth early in the 2007-09 campaign. The injury occurred after receiving a hit from Carlos Boozer's elbow while battling for a rebound. Nash finished the game and then gave an amusing courtside interview.
A.C. Green (1996)
The 90s were known for its physical brand of basketball. But a regular season game in the 1996-97 season between the Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks had then-Suns forward Green losing his two front teeth after receiving a brutal elbow from J.R. Reid. Fortunately, the "Iron Man" didn't miss a game because of the injury (he holds the record for most consecutive regular-season games suited up in with 1,192.) As for Reid, he was suspended for two matches.
Wilt Chamberlain (1960)
The NBA legend had plenty of run-ins with bruiser Clyde Lovellette during their playing careers. During an altercation in the 1959-60 campaign, Chamberlain, then playing for the Philadelphia Warriors, lost two of his teeth after receiving an elbow from Lovelette. While the tooth loss probably didn't bother the 7-foot-1 center, he, unfortunately, contracted a blood poisoning infection because of the injury.