I saw my neighbor’s wife trying to trim this tree. She was having a hard time, so I offered to help. When I finished, her husband pulled up. He ran over and punched me. I found out later that he thought I was someone else who’d been hitting on his wife. He apologized, but the punch caused one of my teeth to feel loose. I feel like I need to see an emergency dentist, but I want him to be billed for it instead of me.
First, you’re right that you need an emergency dental appointment. If the tooth is loose, that means your ligaments have been stretched in the scuffle. You will also want to have an x-ray done to make sure no other damage was done to the pulp of the tooth.
An emergency dentist can splint the loose tooth until it has time to heal. If there’s damage to the pulp, you’ll also need a root canal treatment.
Who Can an Emergency Dentist Bill?
The only person a dentist can bill is the person coming for the procedure, their insurance, or (if they’re a minor) the parent or guardian. An exception would be if your neighbor were to send an official, signed letter saying they were willing to pay for your expenses incurred as a result of the punch.
Without that, your only real options are to send him a bill after you pay the dentist or take him to small claims court. As he apologized, it sounds like he’s willing to take responsibility for his actions. All it may take is some reasonable communication between the two of you to work things out.
In the Meantime…
Don’t put off scheduling that appointment. the tooth needs to be stabilized. While waiting for your appointment, be certain to not wiggle the loose tooth. If you snap the ligaments, you could end up losing the tooth completely which would mean instead of a splint you’re looking at replacing the tooth.
This blog is brought to you by Dr. Warren Krutchick.