BACKGROUND A traumatic injury to the primary dentition can cause damage to the germ of the permanent successor. As a clinical consequence a dilaceration with root deformation, malpositioning and disturbances of eruption can occur. Surgical repositioning of such a dislocated crown of a developing tooth can be a treatment option. CASE REPORT A four year old patient was referred to our clinic because of a mobile upper primary central incisor and a radiographically visible displaced dental crown. Her history revealed a traumatic dental injury one year ago. Radiologic examination confirmed an inflammatory root resorption on tooth 61 and a dislocation of the developing tooth 21. In order to avoid further displacement due to the inflammation, 61 was extracted at the first appointment. A radiographic image 7 months later showed no improvement in the malposition of tooth 21. Therefore tooth 21 was surgically repositioned into its correct position. Follow-up over 3 years confirmed a continued root development and a full eruption of 21 in its correct position. CONCLUSION Early diagnosis and early treatment of a dislocated permanent tooth germ is essential to allow a favorable outcome. Surgical repositioning can be successful in avoiding later malpositioning of the permanent teeth.