Personal Injury Lawyer
Car accidents are notorious for causing a wide range of dental injuries to occupants of the involved vehicles. Despite their potential seriousness, they may not receive priority treatment when other, more serious injuries are sustained. But if the dental injuries are overlooked, it can result in great pain and suffering for the car accident victim. It can also provide a window during which the dental injury may worsen in severity. Depending on the type of dental injury they sustained, the nature of the treatment and the length of time it will take to recover will vary. The cost of dental treatment can be included in a legal claim with the help of a lawyer, like an auto accident attorney in Indianapolis, IN from Ward & Ward Law Firm, against the at-fault driver.
Common Dental Injuries
There are two main types of dental injuries: direct and indirect.
- When the person’s mouth or head strikes a hard object with force and causes a dental injury this is a direct injury. Hitting the dashboard, windshield, or steering wheel can cause this type of dental injury.
- When the person’s mouth shuts abruptly and with force, the upper teeth can crush the teeth in the lower jaw.
With regard to car accident injuries specifically, there are three common types of dental injuries:
- Luxated tooth. When the tooth is loosened but not knocked out after suffering a traumatic blow to the mouth area, this is referred to as a luxated tooth. That tooth can move sideways, forward and backward. The immediate treatment method often used is to push the luxated tooth into its normal position. A dentist may recommend further treatment based on the patient’s condition.
- Avulsed tooth. When the tooth is knocked out of its socket, this is referred to as an avulsed tooth. If certain protocols are followed, it may be possible to save the tooth if treatment by a dentist can be done within two hours of the accident. The tooth must be picked up by the crown, and the roots left untouched. It must then be stored in a clean plastic container that is filled with a saline solution, saliva, or milk.
- Fractured tooth. Teeth contain various layers and the seriousness of a fracture is based on how many layers are damaged. Treatment for a fractured tooth is similar to how an avulsed tooth is treated by a dentist.
Common Causes of Dental Injuries in Car Accidents
Dental injuries from car accidents are so prevalent because they can occur in so many different ways. Their severity will vary depending on the rate of speed of the vehicles involved and how hard the person’s facial area comes into contact with another object such as the dashboard, windshield, or the steering wheel. A dental injury can also be sustained when the individual is thrown from the vehicle and hits the ground. They may be forcefully thrown against another occupant of the car or against a seat.
Regardless of how exactly the dental injury occurred, it’s important to seek medical treatment from a dentist as soon as possible.