Dental Damage or Teeth Issues After a Car Accident? Here’s What You Should Know
Since the head is almost always thrust forward during a collision, mouth damage is a fairly common injury. This can happen if your face hits the dash or steering wheel, but it can also happen by coming in contact with an airbag. In these cases, extensive dental repair is sometimes necessary, and under California law, victims are entitled to compensation.
What does dental insurance cover?
Dental insurance can vary quite a bit between providers, so if you sustain dental injuries, you’ll need to contact your company to find out what’s covered. Most policies categorize dental care into preventative, basic, and major care, and preventative care is usually completely covered. This would be regular cleanings and x-rays, for example. Basic care would be the next step up from that, covering procedures like fillings and extractions. Insurance will usually cover the majority of the cost for these, but you may be left owing about 75 percent of it.
Almost everything else would fall into the “major procedures” category, which would likely be the case with dental damage from a car accident. Most dental insurance will cover a portion of Restorative Dental Care, but you’ll likely have to meet a high deductible first. And what’s more is that a lot of the time, dentists want you to pay those costs upfront and file for reimbursement on your own. Additionally, almost every dental insurance policy comes with an annual maximum, meaning once you exceed their specified amount, you’re on your own.
Types of dental damage that can occur in a car accident
There are many types of dental injuries you can sustain during a car accident. The most common are probably chipped teeth. When this happens, immediate treatment is necessary to preserve them. The second most common type of injury is loose teeth. Even if you don’t crack or chip a tooth, the impact can still loosen them. Immediate care is also necessary for loose teeth, and if you lose one, a dentist might still be able to preserve it — if you act quickly.
Common dental treatments needed after an accident
If any of the previous injuries occur, you’ll have several options for treatment. A cracked or chipped tooth can usually be fixed fairly easily with enamel shaping. But other injuries might require veneers, bonding, implants, and/or even extractions.
Dental damage and pain and suffering
If you were not at fault in the accident that caused dental damage, you’ll be able to ask for monetary compensation for all your dental bills. In addition, you might also be able to seek compensation for pain and suffering. Believe it or not, mental health and oral health are closely intertwined. Many people who have heard about this think it just means that people with mental illness have poor oral health or hygiene. While this is true, it’s also reciprocal. Mental health professionals say that common dental disorders, such as trauma and tooth loss, can greatly affect a person’s self esteem, negatively influencing their quality of life.
How to recoup dental costs after a car accident
Since your dental insurance probably won’t cover a large part of your dental costs, you might be left trying to figure out how to pay for it all. The first thing to do in this situation is to contact an Orange County car accident attorney right away. They will probably advise you to keep all your paperwork to help them build a case. This would include police reports, dental bills, witness accounts, and anything else relating to the accident. At that point, your lawyer may be able to negotiate a settlement. If not, though, you’ll have the option of filing a lawsuit with the insurance company of the person who caused the accident.
When involved in a car accident, you may sustain damages. If this occurs, the best course of action is to visit a medical provider and hire a car accident attorney. By doing so, you’ll be able to take care of your health while seeking compensation for the injuries you sustained.