Image of nerves in the body's nervous system


Many work injuries give rise to Peripheral Neuropathies. Peripheral Neuropathy, for all intents and purposes, means damage to the nerves. Nerve Damage can come from many sources. Familiar Neuropathic Injuries include Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Herniated Disks in the Spine which compress upon nerves.

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California Workers’ Compensation Law provides for a treatment for work-related dental injuries. Some industrial Dental conditions can include Orofacial Pain Conditions. This article will discuss the Orofacial Pain Conditions and the treatment indicated for them.

There are a variety of Orofacial Pain Dental Conditions. These conditions include Orofacial Pain, Craniofacial Spasticity, TMJ Disorders, Atypical Toothaches, and Snoring & Sleep Apnea.


Are there any Limitations on Workers’ Compensation Dental Treatment?

The answer is “yes” and “no.” With respect to the answer of “yes,” treatment is subject to both Utilization Review and Independent Medical Review.

Therefore, the treatment must be approved in order to be provided. With respect to the answer of “no,” treatment has no monetary limit. Therefore, treatment will not be denied based upon the fact that it may be costly in nature.


What is Orofacial Pain?

Per the American Academy of Orofacial Pain, “[t]he field of Orofacial Pain is concerned with the prevention, evaluation, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of orofacial pain disorders.

Such disorders may have pain and associated symptoms arising from a discrete cause, such as postoperative pain or pain associated with a malignancy, or may be syndromes in which pain constitutes the primary problem, such as TMJ disorder pain, neuropathic pains or headaches.”


What Types of conditions are considered Orofacial Pain?

Per the AAOP, “[a]t the present time the orofacial pain encompasses: Temporomandibular Joint disorders, Masticatory Musculoskeletal Pain, Cervical Musculoskeletal Pain, Neurovascular Pain, Neuropathic Pain, Sleep Disorders related to Orofacial Pain, Orofacial Dystonias, Headaches, Intraoral, Intracranial, Extracranial, and systemic disorders that cause orofacial pain.”


What Treatments are indicated for Orofacial Pain?

Orofacial Pain treatments can include anti-spasticity drugs, bruxism counter-conditioning and protective appliances, and botulinum toxin injections.


What is Craniofacial Spasticity?

Craniofacial dyskinesias involve abnormal spontaneous craniofacial movements.


What Treatments are indicated for Craniofacial Spasticity?

Craniofacial Spasticity treatments can include trigger point therapy, corticosteroid, and sodium hyaluronate joint injections, arthrocentesis and mobilization, pharmacological treatment and physical therapy.


What are TMJ Disorders?

TMJ Disorders relate to problems with respect to the joint that connects the jaw to the skull.

TMJ disorders have been known to have been caused or aggravated by stress. Therefore, work stress can be considered as a causative factor to a TMJ Disorder claim.


What are the Treatments for TMJ Disorders?

TMJ Disorder treatments include trigger point therapy, corticosteroid, and sodium hyaluronate injections, arthrocentesis and mobilization, pharmacologic and physical therapy.


What are Atypical Toothaches?

Atypical Toothaches are also referred to as Atypical Odontalgia. This relates to atypical facial pain, phantom tooth pain or neuropathic orofacial pain.

These conditions could be work-related in that they arise in connection with prior industrial work-related dental treatment. Also, there is some association that can be made with work-related stress causing depression or anxiety.


What are the Treatments for Atypical Toothaches?

Treatments can include diagnostic and therapeutic anesthetic blocks, topical desensitization medications, neurosensory stents, nerve desensitizing injections and sympathetic nerve blocks.


What is Snoring & Sleep Apnea?

Snoring is noisy breathing that occurs during sleeping. Sleep Apnea is a condition in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts which someone is sleeping.

Sleep Apnea is associated with weight gain. There are many times that Injured Workers, as a result of their inactivity post-injury, gain weight. As a result of this weight gain, they can develop Sleep Apnea.


What are the Treatments for Snoring & Sleep Disorders?

The treatments for Snoring & Sleep Apnea include anterior mandibular positioning devices such as a Herbst or TAP. Surgery via a maxillofacial surgery, laser-U3P, non-surgical treatment including weight loss, exercise programs, polysomnography, and home monitoring.


What are Oral Lesions/ Burning Mouth?

Burning Mouth Syndrome involves an individual feeling burning scalding or tingling feelings in the mouth that may occur every day for a month or longer.

Oral Lesions are ulcers that occur on the mucous membrane of the oral cavity.

These conditions can be work-related in that they can be caused by industrial trauma, treatment for industrial injuries such as radiotherapy or chemotherapy, job-related stress, or industrially-related gastrointestinal conditions.


What is the Treatment for Oral Lesions/Burning Mouth?

Treatments include medications, laser therapy, oral stents, and cryotherapy.


What is Need Advice?

If you would like a free consultation regarding your workers’ compensation claim, or if you feel you have medical mismanagement claims, please contact the Law Offices of Edward J. Singer, A Professional Law Corporation.

They have been helping people in Central and Southern California deal with their workers’ compensation cases for 26 years. Contact us today for more information.


Image Credit: Shutterstock/YAKOBCHUK VIACHESLAV

Burn injuries suffered while at work

Burn Injuries and Workers’ Compensation: What You Need to Know

In the Workforce, there are many workers who are at risk for sustaining burn injuries.  Many occupations expose workers to the risk of burns. These occupations include firefighting, food processing, and construction. Burn injuries can be serious. They can cause the need for extensive treatment, create severe impairments with respect to the ability to work, and severely impact an individual’s ability to perform activities of daily living. Continue reading

occupational injuries

Welding & Cancer Risks: Welding & Workers’ Compensation: What You Need To Know

Many Employees work in environments which place them at a greater risk for occupational injuries and occupational disease. One of the occupations that have a unique risk for cancer is the Welding Trade. For those individuals who work in that Trade, it is important for them to know about the particular medical conditions that may arise as a result of their employment.

In event that they succumb to those conditions, it is important for Welders to know that they can claim workers’ compensation benefits for diseases which arise from their trade. Workers’ Compensation benefits allow for the Injured Worker to claim medical treatment and compensation. This would include payment for their cancer treatment. Continue reading

Subsequent Injuries Fund & Workers’ Compensation: Additional Benefits for Seriously Disabled Injured Workers with Pre-Existing Disabilities: What You Need To Know

The State of California has a Special Program for Injured Workers who have pre-existing labor disabling conditions. It is called the Subsequent Injuries Fund. It is commonly referred to by the abbreviation “SIF”. This Special Program allows for Injured Workers who are seriously disabled to obtain additional compensation beyond their ordinary workers’ compensation case.

What is the Subsequent Injuries Benefits Trust Fund?

Per the Department of Industrial Relations, “[t]he Subsequent Injuries Benefits Trust Fund (SIBTF) is a source of additional compensation to injured workers who already had a disability or impairment at the time of injury. For benefits to be paid from the SIBTF, the combined effect of the injury and the previous disability or impairment must result in a permanent disability of at least 70 percent. The fund enables employers to hire disabled workers without fear of being held liable for the effects of previous disabilities or impairments.” In sum, ratings of an Injured Worker’s overall disability, regardless of it being industrial, must be 70 percent or more to qualify. Continue reading

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