The effects of jaw, dental, and facial injuries from a car accident can be multifaceted. They can have physical, emotional, and financial consequences. Fortunately, Dallas car accident lawyer Julie Johnson can help accident victims get compensation to ensure they receive the medical care they need and recover damages for their financial losses – both current and future.
For some people, one of the effects of whiplash is jaw pain, also known as temporomandibular joint pain (TMJ). Others suffer jaw injuries from striking the dashboard, airbag, or other structure within the vehicle during an accident.
Treatment for jaw pain may include:
- Liquid diets and rest
- Pain medication
- Soft or firm bite guards
- Physical therapy
Though minor jaw fractures usually only require a liquid diet, rest, and pain medication, more severe fractures require surgery. To perform jaw surgery, a surgeon may cut into your jawbone to properly align it. The surgeon will then use screws and bone plates to keep it in position. Some require temporary wires to keep the jaw in place during healing.
Additionally, patients may require braces prior to surgery to align the teeth. The entire process (from receiving braces to post-surgery brace removal) can last between one and two years.
Upon impact with the dashboard, steering wheel, or even the airbag, some people lose or chip teeth in car accidents. Even if an injury appears mild, a dentist should examine it immediately.
Dental procedures might include:
- Dental crowns and caps
- Tooth extractions
- Root canals
- Bridges and implants
In the event of a chip or fracture, dentists use a crown or cap to replace the broken part of the tooth. In extreme cases, a root canal may be necessary.
If a tooth dislodged from its natural position, the dentist must reposition it. This may also require a root canal. And if the tooth fell out, the dentist may try to implant it back in its original socket, or may have to use a dental bridge to replace it.
Facial injuries from car accidents can be the result of a variety of factors, such as cuts from broken glass or impact with any of the hard surfaces inside of the vehicle. These injuries can range from minor scrapes to severe disfigurement.
Treatment for a facial laceration might include a few stitches for minor cuts, or cosmetic surgery to repair severe scarring. In cases of severe injury, the doctor may order a CT scan of the head to evaluate for internal brain injury.
Broken facial bones require surgery. The doctor may need to make multiple incisions to expose and reposition the broken bones. Once properly repositioned, the patient may have to wear a special device or bandaging to keep the bones in place for several weeks.
Covering the Costs of Jaw, Dental, and Facial Treatment
The cost of these procedures ranges considerably. Treatment can range from several hundred dollars to tens of thousands depending on the extent of the injuries, longevity of treatment, and the type of treatment.
Your health or dental insurance should cover the cost of jaw, dental, and facial treatment you require after a car accident. But that insurer may recover a portion of your settlement through subrogation in order to cover its costs. Julie Johnson will go over this with you in greater detail as it pertains to your case.
In addition to medical bills, all of these injuries can require you to take time off work or may even affect your ability to continue working. You may also face considerable emotional distress if your injury leaves scars or requires you to wear corrective or protective devices on your face and teeth.
These are costs your health or dental insurance will not cover. Fortunately, you may be eligible to receive compensation for all of these damages and more if you successfully file a car accident claim against the liable party.
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