Car accidents are traumatic. They can have detrimental effects on the health of your teeth. If you’ve suffered other serious injuries during your accident it may seem like dental injuries are the least of your worries. However, you should see a dentist as soon as possible to assess your injuries and create a plan of action. If you’ve had teeth knocked out in a car accident or suffered other injuries to your mouth, waiting to see a dental professional can worsen your condition and slow down the healing process. The pain you’re feeling will only worsen without treatment.
Whether you’re experiencing tooth damage, tooth loss, or the early signs of TMJ, a dentist can help you renew your smile and walk alongside you toward the path of healing. If you’ve been in an auto accident and had to go to the emergency room, it’s also important to know that if your ER doctor mentioned “mouth” or “teeth” in their report sometimes you can bill your medical instead of dental insurance.
Tooth Damage from Car Accidents
The impact from car accidents can often cause chipping and/or fracturing of the teeth. Fracturing can occur at a variety of severities. The extent of the damage determines the best course of treatment. For example, if the fracture has only affected the enamel of one of your teeth, a dental crown or veneer can be used. Veneers are a thin ceramic or resin-based composite that cover the front of existing teeth. A dental crown is a cap that covers and strengthens a damaged tooth. If the innermost layers of your tooth have been impacted, a root canal may be necessary. Root canals work to remove any damaged or diseased tissue that has developed inside your tooth.
Teeth can also become dislodged in a car accident. If your teeth hit a hard surface it is possible that the impact may have caused one or more of your teeth to dislodge from their sockets.
If you lost teeth during your car accident artificial teeth can be the answer to restoring your smile. Dental implants are a highly effective way of replacing your teeth and are recommended by many professional dental associations. Dental implants are metal frames that are surgically placed into your jawbone that help to support artificial teeth. They allow you to regain the comfort and function you had with your natural teeth. The implants are designed to function just like natural teeth and can help you skip the awkwardness and discomfort of other artificial teeth options.
Other options for tooth loss include bridges and dentures. A dental bridge can be used to replace a missing section of teeth. A bridge is a permanent dental appliance that is custom fit to blend in with your other teeth. If you’ve lost multiple teeth, dentures or removable partials may be an affordable option. While dentures have historically been known to be uncomfortable, trained dental professionals can work with you to continue to customize your fit over time to ensure discomfort is avoided.
Car accidents may cause you to develop jaw impairments including temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ). Trauma survivors are at a higher risk of developing TMJ. Most cases of TMJ are caused by trauma to the head. Symptoms include jaw pain, difficulty chewing, and a clicking sound made by your jaw joint. If you wait to get treated it is more likely that you’ll develop TMJ over time if your jaw alignment is not corrected. If you believe it’s possible you may have TMJ you should see a dentist as soon as possible.
Regain Your Confidence
It’s difficult to be confident in your smile when you’ve recently been involved in an accident and may even still be in pain. When you’re recovering both physically and emotionally from an accident the last thing you want to worry about is your teeth. Addressing all your injuries including any damage that your teeth have sustained is another part of the healing process. Your teeth and jaw can’t mend on their own and need specialized treatment for you to regain their full functionality. Dental procedures including veneers, dental implants, dentures, dental crowns, and bridges, will help you regain your confidence and eliminate any pain you’re experiencing.
If you’re experiencing teeth problems after a car accident or noticing any pain or discomfort due to a recent accident or injury you should see a dental professional immediately. Contact the office of Daniel J. Derksen, DDS, PLLC to set up an appointment to meet with our team to begin your journey back to a revived smile.