The First Department determined the loss of teeth (in an assault) was a “serious injury” within the meaning of Penal Law 10.00 (10) because the loss of teeth constituted a “serious and protracted disfigurement” notwithstanding replacement by a prostheses:
The element of serious physical injury (Penal Law § 10.00) was established, because the victim’s permanent loss of four front teeth constituted a protracted impairment of her health or protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily organ … . Since the teeth are lost, the victim can never eat with them, notwithstanding that she has been fitted with a prosthetic device; accordingly, her loss is not just protracted, but permanent. While the fact that damage to an organ has been successfully repaired may affect whether the injury qualifies as serious …, this does not apply when the organ is permanently lost, irrespective of whether it is replaced by a prosthesis.
Furthermore, the victim’s loss of four front teeth also constituted a “serious and protracted disfigurement,” since “a reasonable observer would find her altered appearance distressing or objectionable” … . The fact that the victim received a removable prosthetic device did not ameliorate the seriousness of her injuries, since whenever she removes the device, the disfigurement will be readily apparent. People v Everett, 2013 NY Slip Op 06954, 1st Dept 10-24-13