Dr. Chiappetta or Dr. Haugstad may suggest a mouthguard or oral appliance as part of your dental treatment. People who grind their teeth at night or who clench their teeth/jaw sometimes develop abfractions. These are small notches at the gingival margin (where your gum meets your tooth) that develop because of the bending forces from clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth. People also sometimes develop a premature wearing of the enamel due to the way they grind their teeth or clench their jaw.
How Is a Mouthguard Created?
Impressions are made of your upper and lower jaw, and also how your teeth come together. Models are made from these impressions. The model and other information are sent to the lab, where a mouthguard is a custom made for you.
Most of the mouthguards we utilize at Library Park Dental are a clear hard plastic exterior with a softer clear material that covers the teeth. The mouthguard is placed on the upper teeth and is checked to make sure that the bite is accurate.
Wearing this at night keeps the jaw from closing completely, which reduces the force on the teeth. It helps to eliminate tension in the joint (TMJ) as well. Some people find that they have fewer headaches because they have reduced the tension in their jaw and neck.
What About Sleep Apnea?
Some people grind and clench their teeth due to sleep-disordered breathing. At Library Park Dental, our staff is trained to evaluate your airway with a specialized computer. If indicated, we will work with your medical doctor or one that we partner with to determine if you are suffering from sleep apnea or other sleep-disordered breathing.
If it is determined that an oral sleep appliance would assist your breathing, one will be custom fit using the computerized programming to open your airway. The mouthguard will be adjusted millimeter by millimeter in order to find the best fit for your mouth.
Will My Insurance Pay for It?
It depends on your dental or medical insurance. We have a staff member who will work with your insurance to try and make the device as affordable as possible. We also work with Care Credit as well as establish payment plans. If you need an appliance for sleep-disordered breathing, it may be covered under your medical insurance policy and we will work with you to figure out the best alternative.
Contact us today to discuss mouthguards or oral appliances and whether they are right for your situation.