Night Guards

Night Guard Cost Guide: Dentist-Made vs. At-Home Options

how much does a dental night guard cost

Night guards are special dental devices worn during sleep to protect teeth from grinding, clenching, and TMJ disorders. They’re like small, comfortable shields for your teeth! These guards play a crucial role in safeguarding your oral health and overall well-being by preventing damage and discomfort caused by nighttime teeth habits. When it comes to getting a night guard, you have two main options: ones made by your dentist or ones you can purchase and fit at home. In this article, we’ll explore the night guard costs associated with both options, helping you make an informed decision that’s right for you.

main points of article including dental night guard cost and reasons why

Pros of Dentist-Made Night Guards (Ranging from $300-$1000+)

Dentist-made night guards offer several advantages worth considering. Firstly, they’re custom-made to fit your unique mouth shape, ensuring maximum comfort and effectiveness. Plus, your dentist can assess any underlying dental issues during the process, providing a comprehensive solution to your nighttime teeth grinding or TMJ concerns.

These guards are built to last, offering higher durability compared to over the counter store bought options, and if adjustments are needed or if the fit isn’t quite right, your dentist can easily accommodate such needs. However, it’s important to note that while dentist-made guards offer these benefits, they typically come with a higher price tag and require multiple visits to the dental office for impressions and fittings, which may not be covered by dental insurance.

dental impressions taken for custom night guard from dentist

Pros of Online Retailers (Ranging from $120-$250)

Custom Impression Night Guard Labs

Additionally, online night guard labs offer dentist-grade custom night guards you can purchase from the comfort of your own home. These labs provide do-it-yourself dental impression kits for you to take your own dental impression. One of the key advantages of this approach is affordability, as it often comes at a lower cost compared to traditional dentist-made guards.

Moreover, it offers the convenience of avoiding multiple visits to the dentist’s office, as you can simply order the kit online and complete the process at your own pace. This option also allows for customization, as the impression kit enables you to create a mold of your teeth, resulting in a more personalized fit compared to one-size-fits-all at-home guards. While these online labs offer advantages such as cost-effectiveness and convenience, it’s essential to carefully follow the provided instructions to ensure an accurate impression for the best results.

defend your teeth against the daily grind graphic

Pros of Store Bought Night Guards (Ranging from $20-$40)

Store-bought night guards offer convenience and accessibility to a wider audience. These mass-produced guards are readily available in drugstores or online platforms, allowing individuals to purchase them without the need for dental appointments or custom fittings. One of the key advantages is affordability, as store-bought options tend to be more budget-friendly compared to custom-made guards from dentists.

They are particularly suitable for individuals seeking a quick and simple solution for teeth grinding or mild TMJ discomfort. Additionally, the variety of designs and styles available cater to different preferences, offering options such as boil-and-bite guards that mold to the teeth after being softened in hot water. While store-bought night guards may not offer the same level of customization and precision fit as custom-made options, they provide a practical and accessible alternative for those looking to address their nighttime teeth grinding or clenching.

night guard cost breakdown graphic

Why does a dental night guard vary so much in cost? 

The cost of a night guard can vary based on several factors. Here are some reasons why night guards can have different price ranges:

  1. Material Quality: Night guards are typically made from different materials, such as soft or hard acrylic, dual-laminate materials, or even specialized materials for specific purposes like TMJ or sleep apnea. The quality and durability of these materials can vary, and higher-quality materials often come at a higher cost. Night guards made from premium materials tend to be more comfortable, longer-lasting, and better at protecting your teeth.
  2. Customization: Night guards can be either custom-made or over-the-counter (OTC) options. Custom-made night guards are created based on impressions of your teeth, ensuring a precise fit. They are typically made in a dental laboratory, which adds to the cost. OTC night guards, on the other hand, are pre-formed and generally less expensive but may not provide the same level of comfort and protection.
  3. Dental Professional Involvement: Night guards can be obtained through dental professionals or purchased directly from retailers. When you obtain a night guard through a dental professional, the cost may include additional services, such as the dental examination, consultation, and the expertise of the dentist. This personalized approach can increase the cost compared to purchasing a generic night guard online or from a store.
  4. Custom Features: Some night guards may require additional customization to address specific dental conditions or concerns. For example, if you require a night guard to treat temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) or sleep apnea, it may require additional features and adjustments, which can contribute to a higher cost.
  5. Brand and Manufacturer: Night guards from well-known dental brands or reputable manufacturers may come at a higher price point due to factors such as brand recognition, reputation, and quality control processes. These factors can give you more confidence in the product’s reliability and performance.

Is a night guard covered by insurance?

Whether a dental night guard is covered by insurance depends on several factors, including the type of insurance plan you have and the specific circumstances surrounding your dental needs.

Many dental insurance plans offer coverage for certain dental procedures and treatments, including night guards. However, the extent of coverage can vary widely. Some insurance plans may cover a portion of the cost, while others may provide full coverage. It’s important to review the details of your insurance policy or contact your insurance provider directly to understand the specifics of your coverage.

Furthermore, dental insurance often has certain limitations and conditions. For example, some plans may require pre-authorization or a referral from your dentist, while others may have waiting periods before covering certain treatments. It’s advisable to consult your insurance provider to verify the coverage details, such as any deductibles, co-pays, or annual maximums that may apply.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that dental insurance coverage may differ for different types of night guards. Some plans may provide coverage for basic night guards, which are typically used for teeth grinding or bruxism. However, specialized night guards, such as those for treating temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) or sleep apnea, may have different coverage considerations.

How does a night guard work?

A night guard is a removable appliance that works by creating a protective barrier between your upper and lower teeth. It helps prevent the harmful effects of teeth grinding or clenching, known as bruxism.

The night guard absorbs the forces generated during grinding, reducing the impact on your teeth, jaw joints, and muscles. By wearing a night guard while you sleep, you can protect your teeth from damage, alleviate jaw pain, headaches, and promote better overall oral health.

Is a night guard worth it?

If you grind your teeth, wearing a night guard can be highly beneficial in many cases. Here are some reasons why wearing a night guard is worth considering if you grind your teeth:

  1. Protection for Your Teeth: Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, can cause significant damage to your teeth over time. It can lead to worn-down tooth enamel, chipped or cracked teeth, tooth sensitivity, and even tooth loss. By wearing a night guard, you create a protective barrier between your upper and lower teeth, absorbing the grinding forces and preventing direct contact between your teeth. This can help safeguard your teeth from the detrimental effects of bruxism.
  2. Pain and Discomfort Relief: Teeth grinding can cause various symptoms, including jaw pain, headaches, facial muscle soreness, and earaches. Wearing a night guard can help alleviate these symptoms by reducing the pressure and strain on your jaw joints and muscles. The cushioning effect of the night guard can promote muscle relaxation, leading to a reduction in pain and discomfort.
  3. Sleep Quality Improvement: Bruxism often occurs during sleep and can disrupt your sleep patterns, leading to restless nights and fatigue during the day. Wearing a night guard can help minimize the impact of teeth grinding, allowing for better sleep quality. By reducing the grinding noises and providing a more comfortable oral environment, a night guard can contribute to a more restful sleep.
  4. Dental Treatment Cost Savings: If left untreated, bruxism can result in significant dental problems that may require expensive treatments, such as dental restorations (crowns, veneers), root canals, or even tooth extractions. By wearing a night guard, you can mitigate the risk of these issues, potentially saving you money in the long run by avoiding more extensive dental procedures.
  5. Preservation of Dental Work: If you have already undergone dental treatments, such as fillings, crowns, or veneers, grinding your teeth can damage or compromise the longevity of these restorations. Wearing a night guard can help protect and preserve your existing dental work, extending its lifespan and reducing the need for premature replacements.

What happens if I don’t wear a night guard at all?

Teeth grinding or bruxism is not only painful, but can also be harmful to ones’ dental health. It can result in the fracturing of teeth and eventually tooth loss. In some chronic cases, it could even lead to jaw disorders, such as temporomandibular joint disorder and change the appearance of the face. The worst part is that it usually happens when the person is asleep and unaware.

Why does a custom made night guard cost so much?

A custom night guard can cost more due to factors like high-quality materials, customization, dental professional involvement, and specialized manufacturing processes.

The good news is, custom made night guards were created to counter the effects of bruxism. They do work. Wearing a dental night guard offers excellent protection for the teeth and can alleviate teeth pain, jaw pain, headaches and will save you thousands of dollars in dental repair bills! It’s a preventative measure and well worth the cost!

But why the wide difference in night guard cost? And which is better? The ones made by dentists or the direct night guard labs online? To help you in your decision making, let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of each one:

Finding the right night guard can sometimes feel a lot like the Goldilocks’ dilemma. Too thick. Too thin. Too soft. Too hard. Personal preference varies and what works great for one may not work for another. Again, a reputable night guard lab will work with you to find your perfect night guard match, even after you’ve received your product. This is what 100% satisfaction means!

man holding sentinel mouthguards night guards while reading dental impression instructions

What to avoid: The Sports Mouth Guard

Sports mouth guards are very common. This is because it is a mandatory requirement to wear one while playing most sports. Sports mouth guards are made of stiff plastic, making them uncomfortable to wear for long hours. Some can be boiled then molded to your teeth, but they tend to be bulky. They are a great option for protecting teeth from impact during sport activities but should not be used in place of a dental night guard.

sentinel mouthguards dark blue sports mouth guard

Professional Night Guard from Sentinel Mouthguards

How does it work?

Step 1: Order and Receive Impression Kit Getting a custom night guard from Sentinel Mouthguards is a breeze. Start by placing your order on our user-friendly website. We’ll promptly ship you an impression kit right to your doorstep. The kit includes everything you need to create a precise mold of your teeth in the comfort of your own home.

Step 2: Create Your Impressions Once you receive the impression kit, follow our simple, step-by-step instructions to take the impressions of your upper and lower teeth. We provide detailed guidance and even a backup set of materials, so you can feel confident in achieving accurate impressions. Don’t worry—our dedicated team of dental professionals is here to assist you throughout the process.

Step 3: Receive Your Custom Night Guard Once you’ve completed your impressions, simply return them to us using the prepaid shipping label included in the kit. Our experienced dental technicians will craft your custom night guard with precision and care in our state-of-the-art dental lab. We use high-quality materials to ensure the durability and effectiveness of your night guard.

In just a short time, your personalized night guard will be delivered right to your doorstep. It will fit your teeth perfectly, providing optimal protection and comfort while you sleep.

At Sentinel Mouthguards, we pride ourselves on our hassle-free process. We strive to make getting a custom night guard as convenient and straightforward as possible, all while delivering exceptional quality and customer service. Take the first step towards a peaceful night’s sleep and a healthier smile by ordering your custom night guard today!

How much do Sentinel Mouthguards® Night Guards cost?

At Sentinel Mouthguards, we offer a range of custom mouthguards to meet your specific needs. Our pricing depends on the type of mouthguard you choose and any additional features or customization options.

Our soft custom night guard starts at $129, providing excellent protection against teeth grinding and clenching. For those who require a higher level of durability and comfort, our hard and dual-laminated night guards are available at $149. These feature a more durable material for added strength and resilience.

If you’re looking for a night guard specifically designed to address heavy teeth grinding and jaw clenching, our Durability Night Guard is priced at $179.

We understand that everyone’s needs and budgets are different. That’s why we offer various pricing options to cater to a range of requirements. Our goal is to provide you with a high-quality, custom-fit mouthguard at an affordable price.

To explore our different options, we encourage you to visit our website or contact our friendly customer service team. We’re here to guide you through the selection process and help you find the perfect mouthguard that fits both your needs and your budget.

Check out our frequently asked questions page for more information on how it works, the Sentinel guarantee (something a dentist rarely offers) and more!

In conclusion

In conclusion, the cost of a dental night guard can vary depending on several factors. Factors such as the type of night guard, customization requirements, materials used, and the location of the dental provider can all impact the overall cost.

While the initial cost may seem significant, it’s essential to consider the long-term benefits and potential savings of investing in a custom night guard over an OTC guard. Investing in a high-quality night guard can help protect your teeth from the damaging effects of bruxism, preventing more extensive and expensive dental treatments down the line.

Ultimately, the decision on how much to invest in a dental night guard should be based on your individual needs, budget, and the advice of your dental professional. Prioritizing your oral health and seeking professional guidance can help you make an informed decision that ensures both protection and cost-effectiveness in the long run.

This article has been updated on May 14th, 2024 to reflect current night guard costs. We’ve reviewed pricing information and ensured it accurately reflects the latest market trends.

Author

sentinel mouthguards author
Ashely Notarmaso

Ashely Notarmaso is the author behind the Sentinel Mouth Guard Blog. She is the CEO and founder of Sentinel Mouth Guards (Founded in 2012) Her long-time work in the dental mouth guard arena and her excellent ability to listen to customer concerns in this often contradictory field has laid the groundwork to explore night guard/mouth guard fabrication in-depth and address real concerns. With the help of her team, she has created a unique fabrication method that promises a great fitting custom oral appliance every time. Amazon’s choice for #1 mouth guard! Visit the online store http://sentinelmouthguards.com

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