After a car accident, broken bones, head trauma, and whiplash are the typical injuries sustained. However, damage to the teeth and jaw should be right up there at the top of the list. This can be a tricky one to get compensation for as many insurance companies will deny the claims they think are cosmetic versus medical. There are varying degrees of dental injury, some of which deteriorate over time. At first glance, the injury may seem trivial, making it difficult to prove a medical need for treatment. The most important thing to remember is to document everything and hire an attorney who can help you prove and receive the appropriate amount of compensation that you deserve.
When in the front seat during a car accident, you are in danger of hitting your teeth on the steering wheel, dashboard or airbag. Dental injury can also occur when the person is eating or simply having a conversation and his or her mouth is open at the time of impact. With no prior warning, the mouth can slam shut leading to broken, cracked or chipped teeth, as a result of the upper jaw forcefully coming into contact with the lower jaw.
Dental injury and treatment:
- Dislodged or loose teeth
An unfortunate result of blunt trauma to the face can be completely dislodged or loosened teeth. All of a sudden you look down and see blood and one or more of your teeth are on the floor of the car. This can be a very scary moment. However, when handled appropriately and in a timely manner, you may be able to save a dislodged tooth. The likely treatment following the repositioning of a dislodged or loose tooth is a splint to stabilize the tooth and a root canal may be the next step. If it is not possible to save the tooth, an implant or veneer may be the best option.
- Broken or chipped teeth
The treatment for broken or chipped teeth depends on the extent of the damage. Some dentists are able to fix the tooth with a filling while other situations require a crown, also referred to as a cap. Sometimes the tooth must be extracted due to the extent of the damage.
- Cracked teeth
There are layers to the teeth and the treatment of a cracked tooth depends on the extent of the damage. For the more severe cracks, a cap, root canal or even extraction may be necessary.
What you can do to protect yourself:
- Document everything
It is imperative that you are able to show the extent of your injuries and the amount of money it will take to pursue the necessary treatment.
- Hire an attorney
The insurance companies can be quite difficult to deal with when filing a claim. In addition, you may feel like you are asking for more than you deserve. In hiring a personal injury attorney, you will have the confidence and knowledge to pursue appropriate compensation. In addition, your attorney will be able to deal with the insurance company directly, leaving you to focus on getting better.