How an orthodontist may treat your injury

How an orthodontist may treat your injury

Many people are confused about when they should see an orthodontist versus a dentist. It may help to think of the dentist as the one who oversees the general health and maintenance of an individual’s teeth and gums. The dentist handles routine cleanings, fillings, caps, bridges and root canals. The orthodontist is concerned with the alignment of the mouth. Specifically, the orthodontist begins by assessing the occlusion (or relationship) of the jaw and teeth when the mouth is closed. The alignment of the upper (maxillary) and lower (mandibular) teeth is paramount for optimal health and well-being. If you have suffered an injury whether after a car accident, a slip and fall or even a fist fight, it may be necessary to see an orthodontist in Dana Point, CA.

What to expect during the first appointment

The orthodontist will take x-rays in order to better see the jaw and teeth and isolate the area that is injured. He or she will then determine the best course of treatment to get the jaw back to ideal alignment and occlusion. It is important that you maintain any diagnostic images and orthodontic reports that show diagnosis and treatment for your personal injury claim. In addition, be honest about the circumstances of your injury during the consultation with your orthodontist. Honesty will help your doctor to provide the best treatment and will ensure proper paperwork supporting your injury claim.

Potential injury to the jaw and teeth

The jaw

There are two main structures to the jaw- the upper jaw is called the maxilla and the lower jaw is called the mandible. They are connected by an intricate set of joints called the temporomandibular joints (TMJ). People are usually familiar with the term TMJ with respect to the syndrome that causes discomfort (i.e., head, jaw and earaches, jaw popping or clicking or the jaw getting stuck open) stemming from those joints. Many traumatic experiences such as sudden jarring of the head and neck can disrupt the joints of the jaw leading to similar symptoms and discomfort. However, many victims and doctors fail to properly identify and diagnose the damage as the symptoms are often delayed or masked by other injuries. In seeking medical attention immediately, the area can potentially be looked at and assessed for damage.  

The teeth

Cracked, broken, loosened and even completely dislodged teeth are potential injuries after a traumatic experience such as a fist fight, car accident or slip and fall incident. While a dentist will be the person to fix many of those injuries, a trip to the orthodontist may be in order for the more involved process of stabilizing the teeth, especially when multiple teeth have shifted.

Personal injury attorney

The medical costs associated with any type of dental injury can be expensive and the treatment plan can take years to complete. If your injury was sustained due to someone’s negligence, you may be able to seek compensation. Consult with a personal injury attorney right away. In reviewing your case, an experienced attorney will be able to determine whether you should pursue compensation.

Thanks to John Redmond Orthodontics for their insight into dental care and how an orthodontist can treat your injury.

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