What happens when you break a tooth in a slip-and-fall accident?

Recently, this blog discussed a fall injury where the victim broke one of her teeth, among other injuries. When we're used to talking about broken bones and other more graphic injuries, a broken tooth may seem trivial in comparison. But just how serious is a fractured or broken tooth and what will treatment require?

While teeth are relatively strong, they can be cracked or broken when an individual slips and falls on a hard surface, such as a wet floor. The level of pain associated with a fractured or broken tooth can range from none to constant. Pain may flare up only when chewing or when the injury is exposed to air, drinks or food of varying temperatures.

Whether dealing with a crack or a break, injuries to the teeth will require a dentist to diagnose and treat. A crack that reaches down to the nerve will commonly require a crown at a minimum. A more serious break that exposes the tooth's nerve is a painful injury that will require a root canal to extricate the nerve and a crown to repair the tooth. A break that splits a tooth vertically into pieces could call for more complicated dental surgery and extraction, depending on the location of the tooth and whether any roots remain intact.

One other challenging aspect of dental injuries is that many victims may not have dental insurance or may be on a plan that only covers routine cleanings and similar procedures. A premises liability suit may be necessary in these situations to help victims obtain compensation for their losses when their injury is the result of a property owner's negligence. Dental bills, especially for root canals and other urgent treatments when a broken tooth exposes a nerve, can be every bit as shocking as hospital bills.

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