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. Many different components within the mouth 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 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 essential for Injured Workers to consult with specialists in determining their course of treatment.  Therefore, please consider this article 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 attend regular medical school, they attend a medical school specifically dedicated to treating oral diseases.  This training allows them to perform surgery.  Further, additional training, programs, schooling, and certification concerning specialization exist.

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, several support staff members work with 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, various specialties 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 an Endodontist performs is a “root canal.”

What is General Dentistry?

Work injury claim form on a table.

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, and Restorative Care, which include treating tooth decay. This is usually done by providing fillings. Also, they treat cracked, chipped, or missing teeth. They also provide whitening services. Further, they address 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 functional 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 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 can often 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 addresses 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 false teeth, crowns, bridges, dentures, implants, and veneers.  This can be done for both treatment and cosmetic purposes.

What If I Need Advice?

If you want a free consultation regarding your workers’ compensation claim, don’t hesitate to 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.



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