custom dental night guard facts

5 Reasons to Order Your Custom Night Guard Online

A Quick Note On The Information Provided:

We strive to provide the most accurate information possible. The dental night guard (sometimes referred to as occlusal guard) suggested in this article is a basic appliance used to alleviate teeth grinding (bruxism), jaw clenching and to protect your veneers, crowns and bridges. It can even be worn as an anti-aging device. It is an affordable alternative to dentist made night guards.

Some individuals may require a more complex, custom dental night guard. Some custom made occlusal guards can be used as a treatment for conditions such as jaw alignment, severe TMJ and tooth misalignment. A licensed dentist will be able to evaluate and determine which dental guard is best suited for your needs.

Date last reviewed for accuracy and completeness 02/25/20

Your Custom Dental Night Guard

Night Guard /Occlusal Guard Cost

In a dental office, the average cost of the dental night guard can be anywhere from $300-$1000. Online, you can get them for as low as $80. What gives? Patients are even applying for Care Credit (a medical credit card through their dentist) to pay for the custom dental night guard.

I was watching a documentary from director Tom Shadyac (of Ace Ventura) called “I Am”. It’s good stuff! Watch it if you get a chance! The film touched on something that I found myself thinking about over and over. Tom talked about how nature only takes what it needs and how we humans get into this mindset of “needing more”. Why is it that some people have more than enough while others are struggling to get by?

On a larger scale, medical cost is a huge political issue, and since I am just one tiny person, I won’t tackle that giant. Maybe later. Right now, I just want to focus on a speck amongst a big, giant blob of a problem and maybe..just maybe offer an alternative solution.

The Dental Night Guard

Below are five top reasons you can order a night guard online

1. Get Your Dental Night Guard From an Online Mouthguard Lab for Way Less

man holding dental night guard

Let’s cut straight to it. The #1 reason is because you can get a custom made night guard through an online dental lab

As stated above, there are certainly times when purchasing from your dentist is absolutely necessary. Dentists can make an array of custom appliances to solve your unique needs. The dental night guard type mentioned in this article is for teeth grinding and jaw clenching protection.

Whether you’re dealing with nighttime or daytime jaw clenching, teeth grinding, protecting your new veneers or tongue biting, a lab-made dental night guard will protect your teeth from physical harm.

Even if you go through a dentist, most likely they will send it to a dental lab and their fee is less than a quarter of what the dentist is going to charge you.

Did you know?

Mass produced “one size fits all” night guards are discouraged by most dental providers. Avoid the urge to buy cheap type one size fits all guards. This type rarely lasts more than 6 months. They’re uncomfortable. They don’t stay in place at night and can even worsen your bruxism.

2. No Guarantee

Most dental offices offer no replacement warranty or satisfaction guarantee.

Let’s say you pay $500 or more for a night guard. You then go on vacation and stay at a nice hotel. You wear your new night guard like you’re supposed to only to come back home and realize – HOLY CRAP! You left that $500 night guard in the hotel bathroom!

You call the hotel. However, they cannot find your night guard anywhere! You call your dentist. They offer to make you a new one at a discounted price. They still have a stone mold of your teeth on file after all. How gracious of them. You shell out another $250 for a brand new night guard.

What if you receive your night guard and simply can’t get used to it? Good luck getting a dentist to remake your appliance or work with you to find the right type of night guard for you.

Want to switch to a different material or type of night guard? Forget about it! Many times you will hear these words “Go home. Wear it for a few hours at a time. Take it out. Give your teeth a little rest and try it again. You will get used to it.” Even then if you still say it’s too uncomfortable, some dental offices will charge you to adjust your night guard. As Vizzini from ‘The Princess Bride’ would say “Inconceivable!”.

3. Insurance May Not Cover You

9 times out of 10 the dental night guard is not covered by your insurance.

This needs no further explanation. Good luck getting your insurance to cover even a portion of your dental night guard. Insurance companies don’t want to pay hundreds of dollars for something non-invasive and pretty inexpensive to make, so why should you? If you have ever been confused by your own dental insurance plan you are not alone.

Ordering online pro tip: While your dental insurance may not cover you, your HSA (Health Savings Account) & FSA (Flexible Spending Account) credit cards can be used for dental night guard and retainer purchases.

4. Your Dental Night Guard Is Being Made By Someone Other Than Your Dentist.

The dentist does not make your night guard.

I know. I know. Crushed right?? I mean, if I’m paying several hundred dollars for a professionally made custom fit dental night guard, I want my dentist to be back in the lab constructing and cutting and polishing and doing everything to make my perfect fitting appliance. Instead, the dentist sends the dental impression (that most often THEY didn’t take. I’ll bet my last dollar a dental assistant took your dental impression) off to a dental lab.

FACT: Even when your impression is sent off to a dental lab, that lab makes many other appliances and does not specialize in night guard creation alone. They are busy creating far more expensive and intricate dental prostheses such as dentures, partials, flippers, crowns and bridges. The night guard is low on their to- do list. The lab has possibly hundreds of orders and they don’t take the time because your night guard is going to go back to your dentist who is supposed to make tweaks and adjustments.

However, as many of our customers can attest, many dentists can’t seem to get the fit perfect and send you on your way hoping you will “just get used to it.”

sentinel mouthguard company logo

Our team cares. We are a specialized dental night guard, teeth whitening and athletic mouth guard lab only. We take the time to trim, polish, and make sure your night guard fits like a glove before shipment.

5. You Can Take Your Dental Impression Yourself.

You are perfectly capable of taking your own dental impression.

dental impression kit instructions

We’re talking about a plastic tray and some putty that resembles play dough. You mix the putty up, place it in the tray and submerge your teeth in it. That’s it! It’s not rocket science. If it were, dental assistants all over the world would be struggling daily.

Guidelines and tips when ordering online: Read the directions carefully when taking your own dental impression. Do not take your own dental impression if you have loose teeth, loose dental work or if you have braces.

If you mess up your dental impression for whatever reason, a reputable online night guard lab will send you a new kit free of charge. We use disposable dental impression trays unlike most dentists who clean and reuse the alginate trays time and time again.

Some dental assistants forget to rinse the plastic alginate trays after removing them from cold sterilization. Ever had cold sterile solution in your mouth? YIKES! You can rest assured that your mail order dental impression kit from Sentinel Mouthguards will come with brand new disposable trays.

Interested in ordering?

Your most common questions answered:

“How does it work?”

First, decide which night guard type is right for you. One common question we are asked is which thickness to choose. The 2mm thickness is the most common choice. Just to give you a reference point, 2mm is about the thickness of a nickel coin.

If you’re a heavy grinder you may need a more durable 3mm night guard. The 1mm is very thin and typically recommended for daytime use. Remember, any of our dental night guards will serve the function of protecting your teeth from the damages associated with teeth grinding and jaw clenching. These two articles will help guide you further:

Dental Night Guard Thickness: Which To Choose? 


Hard, Soft, or Dual Laminated Night Guard: Which is right for me?


Once your order has been placed you will receive a do-it-yourself dental impression kit. This kit contains two plastic trays (choose which one fits best), blue and white putty paks, instructions, and a prepaid return mailer.

Taking your dental impression is EASY! Check out our “how to” video. Upon receipt of your dental impression, we will make your custom appliance within 8-12 business days. That’s it!

“What if I don’t take my dental impression correctly?”
We will mail a redo impression kit to you free of charge.

“Can my night guard be used to prevent the look of aging?”

Yes! One of the major effects of teeth grinding is the flattening or shortening of the teeth. This is an indicator of age. Wearing a dental night guard consistently to protect your teeth from become shorter is a great addition to your nighttime regimen.

“What if my occlusal guard (night guard) does not fit correctly?”

Keep in mind that the Sentinel warranty and return policy is unlike any other. We stand by our products and will always work with you. This means that if you are dissatisfied with your product for any reason, you can either contact Sentinel within 90 days for a full refund or opt to continue working with us until you get a great fitting guard. Our commitment to you is 100% satisfaction.

“I LOVE the occlusal guard you just made 🙂 It fits perfectly and stays in place! I want another just like it. How do I reorder?”
We keep all impressions on file for one year from the purchase date. Place a new order.

Be sure to contact us for a discount to apply to your reorder. Upon receipt of the new order we will pull your existing dental impression on file and get to work!

So There You Have It Folks

retainer case

If you have started looking into the subject of bruxism and you’re trying to understand nighttime teeth grinding/jaw clenching, you’ve probably already noticed some real inconsistencies and downright contradictions out there.

For example the NTI night guard, is controversial in its usefulness and effectiveness. Some even say the small device is dangerous because of the potential to swallow it during sleep. Yet it’s popular. Some dentists ONLY make the NTI guard in their office. Others swear against the use of it.

TMJ is one twisted issue. Everyone is different – dental anatomy, habits and pathology vary widely from person to person. You may very well have to go through some trial and error to gain control of your bruxism and/or TMJ.

If you do decide to purchase a dentist made night guard, pay attention to what your dentist tells you. Be proactive and seek to understand your disorder. Make changes in your lifestyle to lessen the severity or intensity of the grinding/clenching.