A slip and fall accident that results in a chipped tooth can be both painful and stressful. Although no one thinks of themselves as vain, living with the chipped tooth can affect your self esteem. Fortunately, a dentist can quickly fix the problem so your smile looks as good as new. The following tips can help you fix the damage without compromising any medical claims you may need to make via a personal injury lawsuit.
Tip #1: Try to find the broken tooth
If the tooth comes out completely with the roots whole, your dentist may be able to place it back in your mouth. In this case, submerge the tooth in milk or water to keep it moist and get to the dentist immediately. If the tooth is chipped, there is still a benefit to finding the broken piece. Not only can it be used as evidence if your slip and fall case goes to trial, the dentist can also use the broken piece to make a matching porcelain cap to repair your damaged tooth. If you can't find it, don't stress. There are still repair options.
Tip #2: Take pictures of the accident site and damage
Unless you have other injuries that require prompt medical care, try to take a few photographs of the injury site before you leave. If you fell because of a broken step, spilled liquid, or a loose handrail, for example, photographic evidence of this may be necessary to prove the damage – especially if the property owner fixes the problem promptly after your accident. Also, take pictures of the injury damage immediately following the accident. You will also want your dentist to take better, more detailed closeups during your visit. Keep any x-rays that detail the damage as well.
Tip #3: Have your dentist provide a written record
Ask your dentist to fully write out the details of the damage. What may only look like a chipped tooth to you may actually involve further damage to the gums or bones. Having this written out by a medical professional allows you to make a claim for the full injury, including the pain and suffering involved with healing from it. Keep copies of all records, including any prescriptions your dentist may give you to combat pain or infection. Even if your insurance covers the initial appointment, you will still need the information if you sue for pain and suffering or to recoup your costs.
Tip #4: Go ahead with the repair
There is no need to put off the tooth repair as you await settlement on your slip and fall case. As long as you document everything thoroughly, no judge or jury expects you to live with a broken tooth as your case awaits its day in court. In fact, putting off the repair could lead to more damages. For example, if the root is exposed, pain and infection are a real risk, and the lawsuit may not cover these if it is determined it was caused by your neglect and not the accident.
Work with a personal injury lawyer and a cosmetic dentist like Duca Peter DMD to overcome the damage to your tooth after a slip and fall accident.