Common Dental Injuries in a Car Accident

March 25, 2022
Common Dental Injuries in a Car Accident

Car Accidents Can Leave Victims With Severely Damaged Teeth

Trauma to the head and face is not uncommon when a car sustains a forceful impact from an unexpected obstacle or another car. The resulting dental injuries can inflict some of the most painful and demoralizing damages inflicted in a Florida car accident. Human teeth are exceptionally resistant to damage, so when a car accident victim breaks or loses teeth, that indicates that the crash was more than a simple fender-bender. The force of the crash may be attributed to negligent behavior on the part of another driver, such as speeding or drunk driving. If another driver's careless behavior resulted in your painful dental injuries, you should seek the advice of an expert car accident attorney. You may be eligible to recover damages for the cost of repairing or replacing teeth, veneers, dental crowns, and other associated expenses in a personal injury claim.

Dental Injuries Can be Inconvenient and Painful

Dental injuries are a common type of car accident injury,  but they can be overlooked by victims in the initial aftermath. Even after discovering the damage, victims may be overwhelmed by the severity of their other injuries and postpone medical treatment while they are recovering. However, delaying care can leave your tooth exposed to harmful bacteria that can lead to decay and the general deterioration of your tooth. Delaying treatment can also affect the credibility of a future claim you may file. Failing to seek immediate treatment can make your injuries look less severe in the eyes of the insurance company and affect the value of your case.  If you've been involved in a car accident where you experienced whiplash, you should check your teeth for any breaks or chips; the same violent motion that causes neck and back pain after a car accident can damage teeth if they scrape against each other or collide with a hard surface.

Dental Injuries Impact Your Daily Life

Beyond the physical pain and potential medical implications, your teeth allow you to speak articulately, smile confidently, and chew your food. A dental injury can disrupt many facets of your life, so if you have damaged your teeth in a car accident, you should familiarize yourself with the steps of a personal injury claim and seek a reputable lawyer to represent you.

Fractured Teeth Can Have Serious Consequences for Dental Health

Cracked or fractured teeth can escalate from an innocuous hairline fracture to root damage and a tooth abscess. Cleveland Clinic lists fluctuating pain levels, swelling, and aversion to extreme temperature or sugar as symptoms that may be indicative of a broken tooth.  Depending on the severity, fractures may scar only the outer portion of the tooth, or extend from above the gum line and impact the nerves that lie within the roots. When left untreated, a cracked tooth can spiral into an infection if the sensitive inner pulp is left exposed, leaving no option but to remove the tooth.

Tooth Luxation Can Lead to Tooth Loss

Tooth luxation occurs when a tooth is displaced when the ligaments and tissues used to secure the tooth are torn or stretched. This may result in the tooth being pushed up into the gum line or loosened to the point where you can wiggle them. Tooth luxation may occur if a driver's head hits the steering wheel or even the road. Car accident victims should seek treatment for displaced teeth before everyday wear and tear detaches them and results in an avulsed tooth. They should also be aware that they have a responsibility to mitigate their damages, or else they may unknowingly reduce the compensation they receive in a car accident settlement.

Avulsed Teeth Carry the Risk of Infection

When a tooth is knocked out of the mouth and detached from its socket, dentists refer to it as an avulsed tooth. It is a rare dental injury most commonly associated with other head trauma. The tooth may be salvageable, but time is of the essence and it always requires a dentist to repair.  The American College of Prosthodontists estimates that 120 million Americans are missing at least one of their teeth. Car accident victims can reduce their risk of an avulsed tooth by seeking out a dentist as soon as possible to reimplant the tooth and properly clean the socket. The hole that is left when a tooth is knocked out leaves car accident victims vulnerable to infection. 

Cosmetic Dental Issues May Also Merit Compensatory Damages

When teeth come into contact with abrasive or inflexible surfaces, they may chip off or become scuffed. Chipped or scratched teeth can affect your confidence and compromise your performance at work or comfort in social situations.  These invisible costs may lack a tangible receipt, like a dentist's bills, but nevertheless, they are legitimate losses that may warrant compensation. If you have sought caps or veneers to disguise the damage done to your teeth in a car accident, that may qualify as special damages in a personal injury lawsuit. Another hidden cost may come in the form of seeking treatment. For many people, a trip to the dentist can be traumatic and stressful. Victims may be unaware that pain and suffering associated with self-consciousness or distress can be part of the damages contended in a car accident claim. 

Dental Injuries Are Usually Accompanied by Other Car Accident Injuries

Car accidents that are severe enough to inflict dental injuries will typically cause other injuries as well. Hitting your face on a steering wheel hard enough to damage your teeth can sometimes result in traumatic brain injuries as well.  In many cases, dental damage can be one of the milder injuries that one suffers in more severe accidents that inflict enough trauma to cause internal injuries, spinal cord damage, and other catastrophic injuries. 

Negligent Drivers May Be Liable in a Car Accident Lawsuit

After a catastrophic collision, details of the other driver's recklessness may emerge. If you fractured or lost a tooth after being rear-ended or forced to swerve into a guardrail to avoid a distracted driver, you may be able to recuperate the expenses you incurred as a result of the collision, provided that your attorney can link their negligence to your injuries. Florida is a no-fault state, which means that regardless of who caused the accident, your dental injuries should first be covered by your PIP associated with your car. However, in a crash that was serious enough to inflict dental injuries, car accident victims are likely contending with a host of other bills. If you have cracked a tooth from hitting the dashboard or steering wheel in a car accident, you may be able to recover damages from the other driver for the cost of medical bills, lost wages if you've had to leave work to attend doctors' and dentists' appointments, and mechanical repairs for your car.

How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help Me in a Car Accident Claim?

Car accident victims may not realize that they can potentially recover damages for something as seemingly minor as a chipped tooth, but it is significant enough to file a personal injury lawsuit. You should seek a qualified personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to demonstrate a driver's negligence resulted in your dental injury. At Dolman Law Group, we will help you negotiate with the insurance company, and handle any inquiries concerning medical or mechanical bills. We'll thoroughly review your insurance policy, help you determine what damages to pursue, and use medical records and respected experts to substantiate the physical and emotional stresses you have endured. Continuing to bite and chew with a broken or missing tooth is like continuing to walk on a cracked floorboard; it only makes the problem worse. Dental repairs can quickly become pricey and may exceed personal injury protection coverage, so car accident victims should begin the process of filing a personal injury claim to have their expenses reimbursed as soon as possible.

Contact Dolman Law Group for Help With Your Car Accident Lawsuit

If you have experienced a dental injury at the hands of a negligent driver, you need a relentless car accident lawyer to have your back when insurance companies come calling. We won't let you be intimidated into settling for a lower level of compensation, nor will we accept unfavorable conditions just to close your case. At Dolman Law Group, we have witnessed the frustration of our clients who feel unheard by insurance companies that deny the full scope of their injuries and settlement mills that treat them like a paycheck. Not only do we care about getting you results, we care about earning your respect. You can count on Dolman Law Group to represent your best interests. Our clients know they can trust us to recover the well-deserved damages in a personal injury lawsuit. Contact us at (833) 55-CRASH for auto accidents. You can also send us an email on our contact us page.

Matthew Dolman

Clearwater Personal Injury and Insurance Attorney

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has represented over 11,000 injury victims and has served as lead counsel in over 1000 lawsuits. Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess or $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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