What Is a Night Guard?
Bruxism is a common condition in which patients grind or clench their teeth. Though this parafunctional habit is often carried out during sleep, it can also occur throughout the day. Both children and adults may grind or clench their teeth, which can lead to worn tooth enamel, frequent headaches, tooth pain, and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, along with other dental concerns. At ACE Dental of Belton, our general dentists offer night guards to protect patients against the damaging impact of bruxism. Custom night guards are dental appliances made of top-grade materials and are worn between the upper and lower teeth during sleep. If you grind your teeth at night, we encourage you to visit our Belton, TX practice to learn whether a night guard can protect the health of your smile.
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When Is A Night Guard Recommended?
A custom night guard may be recommended to protect your jaw joints, teeth, dental restorations, and other oral health aspects. You may have a bruxism habit if you experience any of the following signs or symptoms:
- Chipped or worn teeth
- Loose or damaged fillings
- Jaw pain or tension
- Morning headaches
- Swelling or tenderness in the face
- Receding gums or sensitive teeth
Though teeth grinding and clenching often accompany stress, these habits may also derive from tooth misalignment, uneven biting surfaces, TMJ dysfunction, or a sleep disorder. When you visit ACE Dental of Belton for a bruxism consultation, our dentists strive to identify the source of the habit and provide the best possible care for your needs.
What Is the Night Guard Process?
We begin the custom night guard process at ACE Dental of Belton by taking digital impressions of your lower and upper teeth. Our dentists will send these images, along with specific design instructions, to a professional dental lab that will make your night guard out of top-grade resin material. When your appliance is finished and arrives at our facility, we'll have you come back in for a quick fitting. We may make minor adjustments to ensure that your guard's fit is snug yet comfortable over your top or bottom teeth. We'll also provide instructions on caring for your night guard at that time.
How Can I Care for My Oral Appliance?
Wearing your bite guard each night is important to preserve your oral health. These appliances prevent contact between your lower and upper teeth, thus minimizing stress and tension on the jaw joints. If necessary, your night guard might be paired with a palliative therapy to increase your daily comfort and prevent further damage to your teeth and other oral structures. Caring for and properly cleaning your dental appliance after each use maintains its condition and offers longer-lasting protection for your mouth. Please be sure to bring your night guard with you to routine dental visits at ACE Dental of Benton so we can ensure it continues to fit well and meet your needs.
Does Insurance Cover Night Guards?
Some dental insurance plans may offer limited coverage for custom night guard appliances. Before taking your impressions, our insurance specialist will review your plan and let you know what your estimated cost will be. For your convenience, ACE Dental of Belton accepts a wide array of affordable payment options. We'll be happy to work with you to find a budget-friendly solution and can even assist you in applying for special healthcare financing.
Protect Your Oral Health Against Bruxism
Patients who grind or clench their teeth are at an increased risk for TMJ pain, tooth damage, and additional dental issues. At ACE Dental of Belton, our skilled dentists are pleased to offer custom-made night guards to minimize the effects of bruxism and improve your comfort. For more information about night guards, or to set up your consultation, contact our Belton, TX facility today.