Dentistry and Workers’ Compensation: What You Need to Know

In California Workers’ Compensation, Dental Injuries are permissible. An accepted Dental Injury claim allows the Injured Worker to seek and obtain dental treatment.

Dental Treatment can be complex in nature. There are many different components within the mouth that may require treatment.   As a result of these different components, a single Dental Injury claim may require the Injured Worker to seek multiple dental specialties to complete their course of treatment.  

This article will discuss the types of Dentists that are available for evaluation and treatment.

Why Is It Important to Know About Dental Specialties?

Would you want a spinal surgeon operating on your knee?  While they may be trained in how to perform the procedure, they are not a specialist in doing so.   Likewise, Dentistry has many specialties that address specific dental problems.

I believe it is important for Injured Workers to consult with specialists in determining their course of treatment.  Therefore, please consider this article as a resource to direct you to the correct specialty.

What is a Dentist?

A Dentist is a medical professional. They obtain a D.D.S. degree which stands for Doctor of Dental Surgery. While they do not go to regular medical school, they attend a medical school which is specifically dedicated to treating oral diseases.  This training allows them to perform surgery.  Further, there is additional training, programs, schooling and certification concerning specialization.

Dentists provide services relating to the mouth. This includes diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases, disorders, and conditions of the oral cavity.  The practice of Dentistry can also treat areas including the temporomandibular joint.

Dentists frequently do not work alone.  Within dental offices, there are a number of support staff members who work with the dentists. These support staff members include Dental Assistants, Dental Hygienists, Dental Technicians, and Dental Therapists.

What are the Dental Specialties? 

Within the field of Dentistry, there are various specialties which perform specialized dental services.  These Dental Specialties include Endodontists, General Dentists, Orthodontists, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, Pediatric Dentists, Periodontists, and Prosthodontists.

What is an Endodontist?

Endodontists treat the inner part of the tooth. This inner area of the tooth can be damaged, inflamed, or rotten through injury, trauma, or decay.  As a result, it may need to be treated by either treatment or removed. The most common procedure performed by an Endodontist is a “root canal.”

What is General Dentistry?

General Dentists are essentially the gatekeepers for individuals seeking Dental Care.

They generally make the initial evaluations and determine the scope and direction of Dental Care.  They generally provide services such as Dental Cleaning, Dental X-Rays, Restorative Care which include treating tooth decay. This is usually done providing fillings. Also, they treat cracked, chipped or missing teeth. They also provide whitening services. Further, they address additional oral care issues such as gum disease and root issues.

General Dentists provide regular teeth cleaning and evaluation services.

What is an Orthodontist?

An Orthodontist deals with the alignment of teeth.  This involves correcting misaligned teeth, jawbones, and other supporting facial structures. These procedures can be done for both cosmetic and function reasons.

The types of treatment can include braces, mouthguards, alignment trays, headgear, retainers, and facemasks.

What is an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon?

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons focus on the hard and soft tissues found in and around the mouth.  They perform complex truth extractions, surgical jaw corrections or smoothing as a foundation for false teeth.   They also perform surgeries for various reconstructions including cleft palate and cleft lip surgeries.  They can also be involved with biopsies, cancerous tissue extraction, facial infections, or even sleep apnea treatments.

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons work often can be part of a large treatment program involving other dental specialties.

What is a Pediatric Dentist?

Pediatric Dentists specialize in dental care and treatment for children and youths.  They are also called Pedodontists.

What is a Periodontist?

A Periodontist address Gum Disease issues.  This treatment can include special dental “deep” cleaning, installing dental implants, and performing cosmetic skin grafting on gums.

What is a Prosthodontist?  

A Prosthodontist replaces damaged decayed or missing teeth.  These can be in the form of false teeth, crowns, bridges, dentures, tooth implants and veneers.  This can be done for both for treatment or for cosmetic purposes.

What If I Need Advice?

If you would like a free consultation regarding your workers’ compensation claim, please contact the Law Offices of Edward J. SingerA 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.



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