What is Night Guard Therapy?
The habit of grinding or clenching the teeth, also known as bruxism, is a dental concern commonly affecting people of all ages. While this habit often occurs during sleep, some patients may occasionally clench or grind their teeth throughout the day. The most identifiable indication of bruxism if flattened or worn tooth surfaces. However, the condition may also result in migraines, tooth pain, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction, and additional symptoms. The general dentists at ACE Dental of Harker Heights are pleased to offer custom-made night guard appliances to minimize the effects and damage caused by bruxism. Night guards are worn between the top and bottom teeth during sleep to protect oral structures from wear, cracks, and other damage caused by teeth grinding. If you or a loved one may have bruxism, get in touch with our Harker Heights, TX team to learn if a night guard can help preserve your oral health and comfort.
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Am I a Candidate for a Night Guard?
A custom-made night guard worn while you sleep may be critical to protecting your jaw joints, teeth, and other oral structures. You may be clenching or grinding your teeth at night if you have one or more of the following indications:
- TMJ pain or tightness
- Frequent headaches or migraines
- Swelling or tenderness in the face
- Chipped, cracked, or worn-down teeth
- Loose or broken fillings
- Sensitive teeth
- Gum recession
A bruxism habit may be caused by a range of factors, from stress, TMJ problems, and sleep disorders to uneven chewing surfaces and tooth misalignment. When diagnosing cases of bruxism, our Harker Heights, TX dentists will also try to identify the source and curate a treatment plan to best meet your comprehensive needs.
What Is the Night Guard Process?
We will initiate the night guard fabrication process by taking impressions of your upper and lower arches. Once this step is completed, our team will send your impressions and specific instructions for customizing your appliance to a professional dental lab. Your night guard will be made of top-quality resin material and returned to our office within a few weeks. A member of our staff will then schedule you to come back in to have your appliance fitted. One of our dentists will try in your guard and make adjustments as needed to ensure it sits securely and comfortably over your top or bottom teeth. Instructions on maintaining your appliance will also be explained to you at that time.
How Do I Care for My Night Guard?
In order for your night guard to minimize damage caused by bruxism, it will need to be worn whenever you sleep. Your night guard will keep your top and bottom teeth from rubbing together, which can help preserve your tooth structure and reduce tension in your jaw. In some instances, palliative remedies may also be suggested to increase your general comfort and help protect your oral health. Cleaning your night guard after each use and caring for it properly can help ensure its lifespan. We also encourage you to bring your appliance to your regular dental visits so the ACE Dental of Harker Heights team can monitor its condition.
Will Insurance Cover Night Guards?
Night guard appliances may be partially covered under some dental insurance plans. Before taking your impressions, we will contact your provider to review your policy and determine if you may have any out-of-pocket expenses. ACE Dental of Harker Heights takes pride in offering an array of affordable payment methods. When you visit for your treatment consultation, we can review these solutions and help you select the option that best meets your needs.
Protect Your Oral Health From Teeth Grinding
Teeth grinding and clenching habits may damage your enamel, cause TMJ pain, and have other uncomfortable results. To help protect your smile against bruxism, ACE Dental of Harker Heights offers custom-made night guard appliances. Find out more on how a night guard can help minimize oral damage by reserving a consultation with one of our caring Harker Heights, TX dentists.