Night Guards and Occlusal Guards
So Drs. Barbara and Katie Bell say you need a Night Guard…What does this mean and what should you do now?
The primary reason we at Barbara Bell DDS, PA recommend you get a professionally made night guard or occlusal guard is Occlusal Disease.
What is Occlusal Disease?
- Teeth that are sensitive to heat or cold
- Grinding or clenching of the teeth (bruxism)
- Notches on your teeth especially near the gums
- Front teeth that look thin, worn-out or chipped
- Waking up with tired facial muscles
- Teeth or dental work that fractures or breaks
- Jaw pain
- Unexplained headaches
Grinding and Clenching
Persistent grinding or clenching will wear down the enamel of your teeth, and make them more prone to breaking and sensitivity. There are many signs that your teeth are undergoing repeated and unnecessary stress and strain, and as a result, you may notice:
- You have chipped a tooth you don’t recall chipping
- Your front teeth are looking shorter
- You can see little cracks in your teeth
- Your molars appear flat on top or have little pits or holes in them
Jaw or TMJ Pain
Beyond protecting your teeth, an occlusal guard reduces or relieves the pain and tension in your jaw muscles. Our guards have a hard outer surface that is durable and a soft inner surface that rests comfortably against the teeth and gums.
Having this cushion between your teeth can:
- Relieve the strain and stress in your jaw muscles
- Reduce jaw pain, tightness, and soreness
- Reduce earaches, headaches, and facial pain
- Relieve head, neck, and shoulder pain
- Protect existing teeth and your dental restorations
A guard is highly recommended for those who have crowns, bridges, implants and dentures to offset the effects of bruxism, an often-subconscious habit that occurs during sleep.
Because individual policies vary, our office is unable to accurately estimate your out-of-pocket costs. We ask patients to investigate their policy to avoid any unexpected financial surprises.
When calling your insurnace company have the following information handy.
- Insurance Code D9944
- What is the in-network fee allowed by my policy? (In-network fees can be as much as $150 lower than our Usual and Customary Fee)
- How much will my policy pay and what will be my co-pay? (Policies can differ from paying 50-100%, $50 deductibles or covering nothing at all)
- How often may I replace this appliance? (Necessary if guard is lost, chewed by the dog, warped by heat or worn through over time)
Call Barbara Bell DDS, PA to schedule an appointment. If you have not identified in advance your actual co-pay, we will charge a $100 estimated deposit and collect any additional cost or refund any overpayment after settlement of the claim. Delivery time is usually two weeks.
*Insurance coverage is estimated – your actual indemnity may be less. You, the patient, are responsible for all amounts not covered by your insurance carrier.