Night Guards Dentistry in MCKINNEY, TX

What is a night guard?

A night guard is a protective plastic tray that fits around your teeth and gums like a retainer. Also referred to as occlusal guards or mouthguards, they can be worn while you sleep at night or during the day when engaging in activities that could cause oral injury. 

Wearing a mouthguard can prevent injury and damage to your gums, teeth, and jaw due to bruxism and dental trauma, as well as reduce pain associated with TMJ. Contact us at Experience Dental today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Dennis Lee. Our office is located at 7001 S. Custer Road, Suite 200, McKinney, TX, 75070.

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Did you know…

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Sleep apnea increases your risk of having a heart attack or stroke and in milder cases, a custom-fit mouthguard can provide similar treatment effects as a CPAP machine.

Ready to schedule your appointment?

call 214-385-4460

How it works: The night guard treatment process

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Consultation

 First, you’ll come in for a consultation with Dr. Lee, who will perform an oral exam and possibly take some x-rays to look for signs of damage to the teeth and jaw. Dr. Lee will determine if a mouthguard is the best method of treatment for you.

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Impressions

If you’re considered a good candidate for a mouthguard, impressions will be taken of your teeth and sent to a dental lab so they can create a custom-fit mouthguard that conforms to your bite and fits snugly over your teeth and gums.

GUARD FABRICATION

It will take a few weeks for your thermoplastic night guard to be fabricated.

PICK-UP & FOLLOW UPS

Once your night guard is ready, you’ll return for a second appointment to check the fit and make any final adjustments.

WHAT PROBLEMS DO NIGHT GUARDS TREAT?

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BRUXISM

Those who suffer from bruxism have a habitual tendency to clench or grind their teeth while they sleep at night. Because this behavior is done unconsciously, the sufferer does not have control over the clenching. 

The severe pressure applied to the teeth is significantly stronger than the force applied when chewing and can risk wearing down the enamel or even severely chipping or cracking the teeth. By wearing a mouthguard, your teeth are protected from damage, and the acrylic night guard cushions your jaw muscles to reduce pain.

TMJ

TMJ causes limited range of motion and pain in the jaw as well as causing clicking sounds when opening the mouth wide. Bruxism and oral trauma can cause or worsen TMJ. 

A mouthguard helps treat TMJ by relaxing the jaw muscles responsible for contracting by repositioning the jaw. It also reduces damage from grinding which contributes to TMJ pain. Wearing a mouthguard also prevents lockjaw and clicking.

SPORTS INJURY

It’s recommended that you wear a mouthguard when playing contact sports to reduce the risk of dental trauma. If you suffer from an injury to the teeth or jaw, this can increase your risk for broken, chipped, or severely damaged teeth as well as TMJ. A mouthguard will absorb the force if you bite down on your teeth and protect your jaw.

SLEEP APNEA

In mild or moderate cases of sleep apnea, mouth devices can be used as an alternative to CPAP machines to help open the airway while the patient is sleeping. A tongue splint (tongue retaining device) holds the tongue in place to prevent the tongue from blocking the airway.

A mandibular advancement device (MAD) can snap onto the upper and lower teeth to shift the alignment of the jaw. These oral devices also help to reduce snoring by shifting the jaw forward to open the patient’s airway.

Did you know…

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You should always brush and floss your teeth before putting your mouthguard in.

Interested in guarding your teeth?

call 214-385-4460

Have questions about dental bridges? Find answers here. 

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How do night guards work?

Chronic stress can cause jaw muscles to tighten during sleep. This tension clenches the teeth together, which can then grate the upper and lower rows against each other in a grinding motion. If this persistent clenching and grinding go untreated, it can erode the enamel, compromise the integrity of your teeth, and cause excruciating pain. This is where night guards come in. A custom-made night guard will protect your teeth from touching each other and wearing down the enamel, preventing further harm on your teeth and jaw.

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How long do night guards last?

Soft night guards are made of cushiony material, which is typically less durable than acrylic or dual laminate night guards. Ultimately, the longevity of your night guard will depend on the severity of your teeth grinding and how well you care for the guard. Typically, night guards last between 5 and 10 years. It is important to wear your guard each night to preserve your teeth alignment. If you choose not to wear your night guard for some time, your teeth can shift and the guard may no longer fit, so a visit to the dentist for another guard or alignment check will be necessary.

Can night guards be repaired or replaced?

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Yes. Night guards endure nightly wear and tear and will eventually need to be repaired or replaced. It is common for your teeth to shift over time, so an annual visit to ensure your night guard is properly aligning is suggested. If you notice any cracks, tears, or deformations, contact your dentist to replace your night guard.

What are night guards made of?

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This varies, depending on the type of night guard you choose. Soft night guards are made from a flexible material called ethylene-vinyl acetate. Dual Laminate night guards are composed of two distinct layers of ethylene-vinyl acetate and acrylic, giving it a soft inner layer and a hard outer layer. An Acrylic night guard is composed entirely of durable acrylic matter, which makes the appliance entirely rigid.

How much do night guards cost?

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The cost of night guards is different for each patient. Factors that may affect the cost of your night guard include the guard material, appointment and visits, insurance type, and more. The best way to find out how much you’ll pay for a night guard is to schedule a consultation with your dentist.

Did you know…

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Those who grind their teeth unconsciously at night can put 250 pounds (or more) of pressure on their molars.

Are you ready for your dental appointment?

call 214-385-4460