If you are in an auto accident in Kansas City, Missouri, in which your face hits the dashboard, the steering wheel, or even an airbag, you might end up with dental injuries. Unfortunately, you may have a lot of other injuries too, and these are likely to take precedence over your dental damage. This means that you may not get the urgent dental care that you need to save your injured teeth. Today, we’re going to look at the different types of dental injuries that can occur in a Kansas City, Missouri, auto accident, and what you can do to recover compensation for those injuries.
How Dental Injuries Occur in a Kansas City, Missouri, Auto Accident
First of all, there are multiple ways that a dental injury could occur in a Kansas City, Missouri, auto accident. It could be that your teeth struck an object from the force of the impact or that another object came into contact with your mouth. If this happens, then you have a direct dental injury. It could also be that the force of the impact caused your mouth to slam shut and that this is what caused the damage to your teeth. If this happens, then this is called an indirect dental injury. They types of dental injuries that you sustain and the severity of those injuries will depend a lot on how severe the impact was in a direct or indirect dental injury case, though direct dental injuries are usually the most damaging. In some cases, the auto accident victim has something in their mouth or a cup to their lips, for example, that causes even worse dental injuries. Then, there are cases where a passenger is sitting in an unsafe position, such as curled with their knees up, and their knees strike their teeth. In any event, there are several different types of dental injuries that may occur.
You May Have an Avulsed Tooth Dental Injury After a Kansas City, Missouri, Auto Accident
A dental injury that is very common in auto accident cases is the avulsed tooth, where the tooth is knocked out of its
socket. In most cases, this will be caused by a direct injury, where your face hits an object, or an object hits your face in the mouth. There are some cases where indirect injuries can do this too when your mouth slams shut hard enough to knock a tooth out, though this is less common. What you might not know is that even when a tooth is knocked all the way out, it can often be saved. To save your tooth, you will have to find it, handle it only by the crown, and store it in milk or saline solution in a clean container. A dentist can then put it back in, in many cases, as long as you see the dentist within two hours. Unfortunately, many auto accident victims in Kansas City, Missouri, are not able to find the tooth, handle and store it correctly, and also get to the dentist in time. You may be transported to the hospital with other, more serious injuries, and your tooth may be lost in the debris. If this happens, then you may find that a dental implant is your best option. If you have lost multiple teeth in this way, then you may be better off with a partial denture or bridge.
You May Have a Tooth Luxation Dental Injury After a Kansas City, Missouri, Auto Accident
Another common dental injury in Kansas City, Missouri, auto accidents is the tooth luxation injury. This is not as bad as an avulsed tooth because the tooth is not knocked out of its socket. Rather, it is knocked loose when an object hits you in the mouth or when your face strikes an object. It is also not uncommon for indirect tooth luxation dental injuries to occur when your mouth slams shut, knocking the tooth loose. A dentist can often get the tooth to go back into position and to heal. If you do not see a dentist quickly enough, then the tooth could end up being lost without proper treatment.
You May Have a Fractured Tooth Dental Injury After a Kansas City, Missouri, Auto Accident
Some of the most severe dental injuries that occur in Kansas City, Missouri, auto accidents are fractured tooth injuries. You may be able to get these fractured teeth fixed at the dentist, though it depends on how severe the fracture. It will be rated based on severity as Ellis I, II, or III.
An Ellis I dental fracture injury is one where only the crown is damaged, but not all the way through the enamel. You may have rough edges on the tooth, but should not experience color changes or tenderness. An Ellis II dental fracture injury is one where the tooth is fractured through the enamel and dentin. You may experience yellow discoloration, tenderness, and sensitivity. An Ellis III dental fracture injury is one where the tooth is fractured through the enamel, the dentin, and the pulp. You are likely to have pink or red discoloration, extreme sensitivity and tenderness along with even bleeding.
Half the Struggle is Getting to the Dentist On Time After a Kansas City, Missouri, Auto Accident
Unfortunately, when someone has dental injuries after a Kansas City, Missouri, auto accident, there is likely to be a lot of other damage, too. There could be other facial injuries, head injuries, and injuries to other parts of your body. You might have broken bones or internal damage. You may need surgeries, a cast, a lengthy hospital stay, etc. With all of this going on, you may not be able to get to the dentist in time to save your teeth. In some cases, it may be months before a cast is removed or before you get out of the hospital to be able to seek the dental treatment that you need. The sooner you can get to the dentist, the better chance you have to restore your smile. If it takes a long time to get there, then the damage can get worse and more difficult and expensive to treat. The good news is that you can get compensation for your dental injuries after a Kansas City, Missouri, auto accident. Call the auto accident attorneys at the Krause & Kinsman Law Firm to find out how we can help.
Robert Kinsman is a personal injury, mass tort, business litigation, and employment discrimination attorney who practices in Kansas City, Missouri. He graduated from the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law and has been practicing law for several years now. Robert Kinsman is passionate about normalizing the life of his clients after they have been seriously injured. Learn more about his experience here.