I was at a small concert venue when a fight broke out. I wasn’t involved in the fight but the “bouncer” must have thought I was. I got knocked in the mouth. I thought I was fine, but when I returned home I noticed one of my front teeth feels a bit loose. In fact, I’m sure it is because it is wiggling. I don’t have a lot of money. If I go to the dentist can I bill the venue for my work?
What I want you to do first is stop wiggling it. There are ligaments which help hold your teeth into place. If you keep wiggling it, you risk snapping them.
In answer to your question, though, a dentist can only charge the person receiving the dental work for their care. There are a few exceptions for that. One exception would be the parent or guardian of a minor child. Another would be if someone else writes that they are taking responsibility for someone else’s work. Finally, if a court orders someone else to pay for the work.
This means unless the venue agrees to pay for the work, you will be responsible for the charges. I know that is likely discouraging to you, but I have some things which may help.
Don’t Put Off Emergency Dental Care
One thing you want to do is see a dentist right away. That gives you the greatest chance of saving your tooth. Hopefully, it is just a matter of the ligaments having been stretched. If that is the case, the dentist will only have to splint the teeth until the ligaments heal.
The emergency dentist will do x-rays in order to determine if there was any internal damage. If so, then a root canal treatment may be necessary.
I know you are worried about the cost. Fortunately, most dentists are compassionate and want to help their patients. If you do not have the money, there are emergency dentists who will allow you to pay it out. Either they’ll have in-house payment options or will work through Care Credit. This allows you to get the work you need before things get worse.
After your teeth are cared for, if the venue still refuses to pay toward the bill, you can take them to small claims court. One thing to be aware of. Even if you win, they will only award you the cost of what it would have been if you went to the dentist in a timely manner.
If the tooth could have been saved, but you delayed and then had to get an extraction and a dental implant to replace the tooth. You will only be awarded the funds for what the treatment would have been.
This blog is brought to you by Glendale, CA Implant Dentist Dr. Robert Thein.