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Why Do Night Guards From The Dentist Cost So Much?

Posted by Sierra Soleimani on

How much does a night guard cost?

So you just had a visit with your dentist about suspected bruxism and to no surprise he recommended a night guard. With a hefty price tag of up to $800, your jaw might just be hurting from the financial shock. But not to worry because there are ways to get you into a comfortable night guard that won’t break the bank.

There is no doubt that you need a mouthguard to protect your teeth from the grinding forces. Untreated bruxism can lead to tooth wear/loss, fractured tooth cusps and broken fillings, poor sleep quality and many other symptoms.

So Why Do They Cost So Much?

Mouthguards vary in price and style. A one size fits all mouthguards can be purchased over the counter at a pharmacy for $20, but might not be as comfortable as a custom fit guard. Your dentist may justify the cost if you bruxism is caused by sleep apnea or malocclusion that requires a more complex mouthguard. Conventional night guards that are custom fit to the individual’s mouth provide added comfort and protection. However, this usually requires multiple dentists visits and impressions that need to be sent to a lab which can drive up the cost.

Like the informed consumer you are, knowing all of the options could save you money in the long run. We want to show you all the advantages and disadvantages of getting a mouthguard from your dentist.

Pros

  • Adjustments - If your mouthguard needs adjustments, you can simply make an appointment with your dentist to adjust the guard to fit better.
  • Special Mouthguards - Bruxism can be caused by other conditions such as, sleep apnea or misaligned teeth. Going through a dentist is the best solution to get a custom mouthguard for these conditions. They will be able to properly assess the type of mouthguard you need and make the right adjustments.

Cons

  • Cost - The unfortunate problem with expensive dental guards is that, in most cases, your insurance will only cover one per lifetime. In reality, you will probably go through more than one night guard in your lifetime.
  • Pain - If you suffer from jaw pain as a result of bruxism, you might find it extremely painful to open your mouth wide. This makes large dental impressions all the more painful.
  • Wait Time - Any type of custom fit device made from impression molds must be sent to a lab to manufacture it. This can take time (up to a week), leaving you still in pain without a mouth guard.

Affordable Alternative

There are temporary night guards available that allow you to have all of the benefits of dental guards and more, without breaking the bank. Here are the advantages:

  • No Impressions
  • Custom fit to your individual mouth
  • Remoldable
  • Works with braces
  • Under $50

Don’t let cost deter you from purchasing a night guard. Remember, letting bruxism go untreated will cause dental damage that will far exceed the cost of the night guard. If you’re not getting a special mouthguard (as mentioned above), there are affordable options that allow you to have a custom fit mouthguard without having to take impressions or going to the dentist.