Dental injuries are probably not the first thing people think of when someone gets hurt on the job. Yet, they do happen, and when they do, getting teeth repaired or replaced is expensive and takes time. Left untreated, tooth damage can often be severe enough to cause permanent disfigurement, chronic pain, difficulty eating and other ongoing issues.
If you suffered a dental injury on the job, you may wonder how you will pay for tooth restoration and any other treatments you may need. Fortunately, if your dental injuries are work-related, your Michigan workers’ comp may cover the costs and provide other benefits.
Did you suffer a dental injury on the job but are not sure if you have a case? Was your workers’ comp claim for a dental injury denied?
Contact Jay Trucks today and ask for a free case review. During this zero-cost, risk-free meeting with one of our licensed attorneys, you can discuss your situation and get answers to your legal questions. If you choose our firm to represent you, there are no upfront costs to pay.
Request your FREE Case Review today. (989) 220-3302
What Kinds of Dental Injuries May Commonly Happen on the Job?
Dental injuries on the job typically fall into one of these categories:
- A fractured tooth
- Subluxation – the tissue around the tooth gets damaged, causing it to become loose
- Intrusion – one or more teeth get pushed into the bone
- Extrusion – an injury that causes the tooth to get pushed out of the bone
- Avulsion –the tooth was completely knocked out of, or displaced from, the tooth socket
- Lateral luxation – a tooth has been displaced and a neighboring bone has been fractured
Work accidents involving facial injuries may also cause teeth to cut through or rip the skin that is between your lips and gums or the skin that is under your tongue.
How Do Workers Suffer Dental Injuries on the Job?
The most common way workers suffer a dental injury on the job is during a slip or trip and fall. Depending on how the worker lands during this fall, he or she could easily suffer a facial injury. As unusual as this may sound, studies show that nearly 40 percent of facial injuries on the job involve dental injuries.
What Should You Do After a Work-Related Dental Injury?
As with any injury that happens in the workplace, you should immediately notify your supervisor. Follow proper procedures for reporting the injury to ensure you do not risk your ability to recover damages. If you can, it is also a good idea to take pictures of the accident scene and your injuries. At the very least, see if there were any witnesses who saw what happened and be sure to get their contact details.
Right after suffering a work injury, we strongly recommend that you seek immediate medical care. An ER doctor should be able to recognize a severe dental injury. If you have lacerations from biting through your lip, you may also need to get stitches.
You will need to seek emergency care to ensure you get treatment for your initial injuries, which could include:
- Concussion or traumatic brain injury (TBI) if you hit your head
- Facial fractures
- Deep cuts or lacerations
- Wrist injuries, such as a sprain and strain or fracture
- And more
As soon as your initial injuries are stabilized, you should seek treatment with an endodontist for your work-related dental injuries.
How Are Work-Related Dental Injuries Treated?
There are treatments for dental injuries, which vary depending on the type and severity of the damages you sustained.
The types of treatments that may be required to stabilize a dental injury and protect your teeth and surrounding gum tissue may include:
- Splinting the affected tooth or teeth
- Orthodontic repositioning
- Surgical repositioning
- Soft diet
- Root canal
- Ongoing monitoring to check for stability
- Surgical extraction may also sometimes be needed
Does Workers’ Comp Cover the Costs of Treatments for Job-Related Dental Injuries?
Workers’ comp does cover the costs of job-related dental injuries. However, these claims may become challenging because of the way dentists approach patient care.
Dentists treat the whole mouth, which means they have a specific sequence in which they handle dental care. Not treating your dental health in that appropriate sequence could be deemed as dental malpractice.
Here is an example:
You go to your dental provider with two badly fractured front teeth. While examining your mouth and current injuries, your dentist discovers you also have an untreated dental infection. Your dentist will first treat your infection and then your other dental injuries. The reason for this is to protect your health. A dental infection, left untreated, can become severe enough to cause death.
In short, just as with emergency medical care, dentists must treat your most serious dental issues first.
Will Workers’ Comp Pay for Preexisting Dental Issues?
This is a tricky part of any workers’ comp claim for dental injuries in the workplace. Any preexisting dental issues, such as the aforementioned infection, are probably not going to be covered under your workers’ compensation claim. This means, you may have to pay for that part of your treatment, because it is not considered to be work-related. That said, you should discuss your situation with an attorney as there are sometimes exceptions to this rule.
Workers’ comp claims for dental injuries can be very complex, and workers often do not know all of their rights in this situation. Having an experienced workers’ comp attorney on your side may greatly benefit your claim.
Need Legal Help After a Dental Injury on the Job? Call Our Trusted Law Firm Today
Our trusted law firm has been helping injured workers for decades. We have a strong history of proven results – we have recovered over $500 million for our clients.
Worried about whether you can afford an attorney? We accept workers’ compensation claims on contingency. This means that you pay nothing up front to hire our services. You also do not pay our fees at all unless we recover compensation for you.
Jay Trucks Gets Results. (989) 220-3302