Occlusal guard (night guard) from dentist vs online

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Occlusal guard (night guard) from dentist vs online

Post by Ricchan » Fri Dec 07, 2018 10:14 am

My dentist says I need a custom fitted occlusal guard (aka night guard) for my night time bruxism (teeth grinding). It costs $560 to get them from the dentist, supposedly because they take an impression of your teeth and create a custom guard from it.

I looked around online and found alternatives for around $130 - $190 from companies like ProTeethGuard and SentinelMouthGuards that mail you an impression kit you use to create an impression of your teeth yourself then mail back for them to create your custom occlusal guard. I've never heard of these companies before (then again, I don't frequently shop for occlusal guards), and was wondering if anyone here has had any experiences with them or knows stories from anyone who does.

I don't have dental insurance, so everything will be out of pocket.

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Re: Occlusal guard (night guard) from dentist vs online

Post by uclalee » Fri Dec 07, 2018 10:24 am

I purchased night guard online about a year ago and have been very happy with it. I opted for the heaviest duty version they offered and it has been the same, if not better, than any other night guard I've had. The impression kit was also very straightforward and easy. Turn around time was surprisingly fast. I just knew I would never pay $500+ to get it from the dentist, so it was either online or nothing.

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Re: Occlusal guard (night guard) from dentist vs online

Post by Volkdancer » Fri Dec 07, 2018 10:26 am

Consider just buying a mouthguard at a sporting goods store. That is what I did years ago and for hundreds less than what the dentist wanted for essentially the same thing. It worked out fine for me. And for several friends who decided to do the same.

You can easily try the sports mouth guard first to see if if it works for you. It's kinda like using index funds instead of active management.

Since you have probably been night grinding for years, a few more weeks to experiment should be fine.

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Re: Occlusal guard (night guard) from dentist vs online

Post by LinusP » Fri Dec 07, 2018 10:32 am

I wore athletic mouth guards at night for years. They're cheap and readily available, but a bit bulky. These days, you can get better designed plastic grinding guards from drugstores for like $10-15.

I've also used a custom bruxism device made by a dentist. Frankly, I don't think it was any more comfortable than anything else I've used, it cost a lot more, and it stopped fitting right after I had about a year's worth if dental work done.

I don't think any of these things are any more or less effective at protecting your teeth.

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Re: Occlusal guard (night guard) from dentist vs online

Post by MangoMama » Fri Dec 07, 2018 10:42 am

The other site I've seen mentioned here was https://www.teethnightguard.com/. Going to give them a try when its time to deplete the FSA. If it's a good fit, I'll also get a second because they offer a good discount for additional ones.

My dentist wants around $500 as well, which I think is insane.

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Re: Occlusal guard (night guard) from dentist vs online

Post by Irisheyes » Fri Dec 07, 2018 10:55 am

I tried numerous products on line, as well as those from the sporting goods stores. None of them worked for me -- the sporting goods ones were way too bulky -- felt like I had a doorstop shoved in my mouth. The kits on line where you make your own impression just weren't comfortable.

So I broke down and paid the dentist I think about 600 or 700 for a custom made one. He had to take it back to the lab couple of times and adjust it so that it fit and was comfortable...adding material in some places and filing it down in others.

I've had it for going on five years now and am glad I forked over the dough.

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Re: Occlusal guard (night guard) from dentist vs online

Post by onthecusp » Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:05 pm

Though I go with the ultra cheap athletic guard now, I'm not sure I would have as much confidence in my abilities to set it up had I not had the dentist provided one for years.

Dentist provided one was a hard plastic and needed frequent adjustment. I finally got pretty good with a file and made my own adjustments. When it broke, I started with the athletic guard. I trim most of it off with heavy duty scissors then go through the hot water fitting process. It took a lot of fiddling to get something I was happy with the first time. Now a new one is an easy process, but I only make a new one every few years. These soft ones don't last as long.

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Re: Occlusal guard (night guard) from dentist vs online

Post by Kenkat » Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:27 pm

My wife got one from our dentist; it was $350 but they also said if it didn’t get covered by insurance, they would discount it to $50. So it wasn’t covered by our insurance and so they gave us a $300 courtesy discount.

You might ask you dentist if there is a discount for a cash price or non-insurance price.

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Re: Occlusal guard (night guard) from dentist vs online

Post by SimonJester » Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:36 pm

My DDS recommended first trying out the cheap make it yourself ones you can buy from the grocery / drug stores. Reasoning you might get away with spending only $10 or $15, but also you might find out you simply cannot adjust to having a mouth guard in your mouth all night. No sense in spending $600 if you are not going to wear it.
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

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Re: Occlusal guard (night guard) from dentist vs online

Post by kacang » Fri Dec 07, 2018 2:38 pm

Seconding the advice to try a cheap one and see how that feels. Amazon has moldable ones for under $20.

The ones from my dentist fitted better and was a bit more comfortable to sleep with, but they didn't last longer than the cheap ones I used to get from Amazon. I get them from my dentist because current insurance covers it 100%, otherwise I would just buy them online.

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Re: Occlusal guard (night guard) from dentist vs online

Post by LadyGeek » Fri Dec 07, 2018 4:26 pm

This thread has run its course and is locked (how to use a night guard and its effectiveness is medical advice). See: Medical Issues
Questions on medical issues are beyond the scope of the forum. If you are looking for medical information online, I suggest you start with the Medical Library Association's User's Guide to Finding and Evaluating Health Information on the Web which, in addition to providing guidance on evaluating health information, includes a list of their top recommended sites.
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