Dental injuries are a common and often overlooked element of personal injury claims. Accident damage to the teeth can cause significant pain, interfere with eating or speaking and be a source of ongoing discomfort and inconvenience. If you’ve sustained dental injuries in a motor vehicle accident or another negligent event, you might be entitled to compensation.
How Do Accident-Related Dental Injuries Happen?
When an impact or blow to the head or mouth happens in an accident, dental injuries can result. The mouth can be directly injured when it is struck by or strikes an object or portion of the car. Or, indirect injuries can come about when the force of an impact causes the mouth to close abruptly, as in the event of a rear-end collision. The effect of the rear impact may cause the mouth to snap shut, and the teeth in the lower jaw may be cracked, crushed, or otherwise damaged when they collide with the upper teeth.
It’s a good idea to evaluate the teeth for damage, particularly if there are injuries such as whiplash, concussion, or other neck and head injury. Dental problems caused by an auto accident can include:
Cracked, chipped, or fractured teeth. The extent and severity of the fracture can vary from a broken tooth to damaged enamel, dentin, and pulp structures. Minor fractures can often be fixed with cosmetic bonding, but when there are more severe damages, they may require more extensive repairs such as root canal and tooth removal.
Avulsed tooth. The force of an impact can knock a tooth out of its socket, causing an avulsed tooth. An avulsed tooth can be saved but only if intervention is rapid and treatment is received promptly. Otherwise, cosmetic replacements like veneers or implants are necessary.
Tooth luxation. Luxation is an injury that happens when a tooth is loosened but not knocked entirely out of place. A luxated tooth may be extended forward, backward, or sideways. A dentist can push the tooth back into its correct position.
If you experience any tooth pain or other discomforts in your mouth after an automobile accident, it’s essential that you get a dentist to evaluate the situation as soon as possible.
Which Dental Damages Can Be Included in a Personal Injury Claim?
A personal injury claim for dental injuries can include one or a combination of the following damages:
- The cost of the dental care needed to fix the issue
- Any future dental expenses associated with the damage, such as replacement dental bridges, dentures, and implants
- Reimbursement for lost wages in the event that you have to take time off work to address your dental needs
- Compensation for pain and suffering
What Is Needed for Proof of Damages?
Before and after dental x-rays are a typical way of proving damages in a personal injury claim. Extensive photos of the teeth before and after any corrective work is a good idea as well, since the majority of the dental repairs will likely be completed before you reach a settlement in the claim.
A dentist in your local area will be able to provide the needed documentation of the damage and the repair work for your claim. To get started on your way to optimal dental health after an accident, schedule an exam with a dentist today.
Wikipedia, Dental Care