Custom Protective Nightguards/occlusalguards
Put a stop to the dental damage caused by grinding with custom-made night guards. Millions of Americans suffer from sleep disorders that cause tooth damage, such as bruxism. The gnashing and clenching of bruxism can lead to chipped, cracked, and even broken teeth. Fortunately, Superior Cosmetic & Family Dentistry has a cost-effective solution for grinding.
Protective nightguards (occlusal guards) have come a long way in the past few decades. Modern night guards are less bulky, more comfortable, and stay in place better than the older versions. Specialized nightguards can assist patients who struggle with sleep apnea. And custom-fitted, athletic mouthguards provide more protection than the over-the-counter, boil-and-bite options.
What Is a Nightguard?
A night guard is a durable plastic tray that fits over a patient’s teeth to prevent tooth damage caused by grinding, gnashing, clenching, tongue-thrusting, and other irregular movements during sleep.. Some patients experience involuntary grinding due to stress and anxiety, while others develop detrimental nighttime oral habits over time. Either way, they can protect their teeth with nightguards. Nightguards do not serve the same purpose as retainers.
Nightguards can help patients who experience:
- Teeth grinding and clenching
- Involuntary tongue-thrusting
- Sleep apnea
- Abnormal bite
- Other dental issues
The hard plastic of nightguards provides a slippery surface for a patient’s teeth to slide over while grinding in their sleep. Most patients only need to wear one nightguard over their top teeth. But, in rare cases, some patients must wear night guards on their upper and lower teeth. The process for receiving a night guard at the dentist’s office proves quick and easy.
What Is Involved in Getting a Nightguard?
To get a nightguard, a patient only needs to visit the dentist to take an impression of their teeth. Then, the dentist will send the impression to the lab for processing. The lab technician will make a mold of the patient’s teeth to design a night guard that fits the mold. After several days, the patient can return to the dentist’s office for a final fitting.
At the final fitting, the dentist will ensure that the night guard feels comfortable and performs its intended function. If needed, the dentist may make last-minute adjustments. The patient can return home with the nightguard once the dentist feels satisfied that it offers a suitable fit.
Nightguards help prevent the following side effects of bruxism and/or grinding of your teeth at night:
- Chipped, cracked, or broken teeth
- Worn-down teeth
- Shifting teeth
- Jaw pain
Can I Wear My Old Mouthguard as a Nightguard?
When patients inform their dentists that they clench or grind their teeth and receive a prescription for a nightguard, some ask whether an old sports mouthguard will do the trick instead. Unfortunately, no.
Athletic mouthguards consist of a much softer plastic that absorbs impact during competition. Because of that, a patient’s teeth won’t slide over the plastic. If the teeth dig into the soft plastic while grinding, it can create other dental issues. However, patients can opt for dentist-approved soft night guards if they clench their teeth but don’t grind them.