If you’ve been diagnosed with bruxism, your dentist has most likely recommended a night guard as a form of treatment. But how much does a night guard cost? There are different night guards, mouth guards, and splints for particular conditions and symptoms. You can purchase a mouth guard one of three ways: custom fit mouth guards from an online retailer, custom fit mouthguards through your dentist, or over-the-counter mouth guards from a drug store. A mouthguard from an online retailer usually costs $100 to $200, a mouth guard from the dentist costs between $300 and $800, and an over-the-counter guard costs between $15 and $30. Where you purchase your mouth guard and the severity of your bruxism will define your mouth guard cost.
Mouth guards are considered one of the best forms of treatment for bruxism because they prevent the teeth grinding and clenching which causes tooth pain and sensitivity, jaw pain, headaches, earaches, and fatigue from lack of sleep. Generally, there are three options when purchasing a mouth guard: over-the-counter mouth guard, custom fit mouthguards through an online retailer, and custom fit mouth guards from your dentist.
Custom Fit Mouth Guard Cost From an Online Retailer
Custom fitted mouthguards are the best treatment option for teeth grinders because they are fit to the unique features of your mouth and teeth. The American Sleep Association explains how custom mouth guards treat bruxism: “They work by putting a barrier between your teeth. When you clench your jaw, the night guard helps to lighten the tension and give cushion to the muscles in the jaw. This cushioning not only helps to prevent face and jaw pain, but also protects the enamel of your teeth”. A custom fit night guard purchased through an online retailer costs between $100 and $200. The night guard cost will vary based on the severity of your bruxism, the type of dental guard you buy, and which online retailer you purchase from. When you purchase a dental night guard from an online retailer an impression kit is sent to you by mail, you take a dental impression of your teeth, it is sent to a dental lab, and a high quality acrylic mouth guard is created and sent back to you.
Over-the-Counter Mouth Guard Cost
Over-the-counter mouth guards include the generic “one-size-fits-all” night guards sold at your local drug store as well as the “boil-and-bite” mouth guards sold at sports stores. One-size-fits-all guards do not fit the features of your teeth. Boil-and-bite mouthguards, on the other hand, are boiled in hot water and then pressed to the teeth to form an impression. These mouthguards are the cheapest option, ranging from $15 to $30, however they are not the recommended option for overall dental health. If you use a one-size-fits-all mouth guard to treat your bruxism, you risk further damage to your teeth and jaw.
The sports mouth guards are effective for protecting the teeth during contact sports; however, they are not the best treatment option for conditions such as bruxism and TMJ because the materials wear down more quickly from the stress of grinding. “According to the ADA (American Dental Association) Council of Scientific Affairs and the Council on Advocacy for Access and Prevention, an ideal mouth guard should be properly fitted to the wearer’s mouth and accurately adapted to his or her oral structures” (2019). Over-the counter mouth guards do not have the customization or durability of custom night guards.
Cost of Custom Fit Mouth Guards from the Dentist
Custom mouth guards from a dental office are beneficial because you receive medical advice and recommendations from a healthcare professional who is familiar with your specific condition. The dental professional will take an impression of your teeth and send it to a dental lab to create a night guard which perfectly fits your teeth. This is the best option for those suffering from TMJ (or temporomandibular joint disorder) and/or extreme cases of bruxism in which there is misalignment of the teeth. Custom fit mouth guards from the dentist are the most expensive option. This type of night guard cost is ranging from $300 to $800. This price is a reflection of the labor and professional materials which are necessary to create a high quality custom fit night guard.
Mouth Guards for Bruxism
Bruxism can be caused by physical, psychological, and genetic factors. Common causes are stress and anxiety, certain medications, and sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. Teeth guards will not allow you to clench or grind your teeth, which protects the upper teeth, lower teeth, and jaw. The type of mouthguard best for you depends on the level of bruxism. Levels include light, moderate, and severe bruxing. Custom fitted night guards come in different materials and thickness to accommodate the levels of bruxing.
Mouth Guards for TMJ Price
TMJ or TMD affects between 12 and 15% of the U.S. population. TMJ is dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint which results in pain and discomfort. Symptoms include facial pain, jaw pain, locking of the joint, and difficulty opening/closing the mouth. TMJ is a complicated disorder, so the mouth guards to treat it often cost more than those for bruxism. Additionally, mouth guards that aim to realign the bite will cost more than guards that only aim to prevent bruxing. Prices vary based on the causes and symptoms, but you can expect a mouth guard for TMJ to cost anywhere between $700 and $1,000. Consult your dentist before purchasing a mouth guard for TMJ because they will have the most information about your specific needs and the best treatment for you.
Does Dental Insurance Cover Mouthguards for Bruxism?
Your dentist may have information regarding your dental insurance and whether they cover the cost of your mouthguard or not. Often, mouth guards are covered at 50%, which means you are responsible for paying half of the price, but this is not always the case. Review your insurance plan to confirm your coverage by visiting online or calling your insurance company. We have covered this topic in our article here: Does Dental Insurance Cover Night Guards?
The best way to learn about what a mouthguard is going to cost for you is knowing your condition well. It is important to consult your dentist for options as well to ensure you’re getting the best care for your oral health. While a high-quality custom fit night guard cost can be high, it is far cheaper than restorative dental work. Broken or fractured teeth are costly to fix, and require recovery time. Avoid this by purchasing a night guard which will alleviate pain and protect your smile.
- ADA Writing Staff. (2019). Mouth Guards. American Dental Association. https://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/mouthguards
- ASA Authors & Reviewers. (2018). Night Guard for Bruxism: Teeth Grinding and Clenching. American Sleep Association. https://www.sleepassociation.org/sleep-treatments/night-guard/
- Gauer, R., & Semidey, M. J. (2015). Diagnosis and Treatment of Temporomandibular Disorders. American Family Physician. https://www.aafp.org/afp/2015/0315/p378.html#afp20150315p378-b26.