What are my options for night guards?
August 26, 2015 9:55 AM   Subscribe

I just got quoted 750$ from my dentist and my insurance doesn't cover night guards at all. Help me figure out my options?

I know the walgreens cheap versions are terrible or even dangerous (jaw misalignment), but what about something like this: http://www.proteethguard.com/ or http://www.teethnightguard.com/?

Does anyone have experience/horror stories/advice?

posted by namesarehard to Health & Fitness (16 answers total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
The Sisu Sova seems well regarded. $40 from Amazon.
posted by exogenous at 9:58 AM on August 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

Try an Aqualizer. One of these saved my life before I could get an NTI made by my dentist. (I would have happily kept using it for longer but I'm related to my dentist and got the guard for free.)

It's a bit of water-filled plastic that sits between your back teeth and keeps your jaw from fully closing. It's comfortable and gets the job done.
posted by phunniemee at 10:05 AM on August 26, 2015

I'm in Canada, my custom nightguard is about $500 tops, $750 seems quite high. I have to say a custom one is well worth it if you're a grinder.

This looks promising: http://www.proteethguard.com/ but I haven't tried it.
posted by lafemma at 10:19 AM on August 26, 2015

My insurance doesn't cover it either, but I don't recall it being as expensive as $750 last time I went to get a bite splint.
posted by radioamy at 10:52 AM on August 26, 2015

I thought I had saved the links but I can't find them at the moment.

There are places online that will send you the kit to make your dental impressions which you then send back to them and they will make you the custom NTI for much less than $750.

Mine (from my dentist) cost me about $600 so when it's time to get a new set I will be going this route.
posted by eatcake at 10:52 AM on August 26, 2015

I agree that $750 sounds high. Less expensive alternatives:

Do you have a good dental school at a nearby university?
Are you close to Tiajuana? I know a few people who go there for dental work.
posted by Room 641-A at 10:54 AM on August 26, 2015

Shop around to dentists asking for just a nightguard. Ask for price without insurance. It should not be $750.
posted by jillithd at 11:08 AM on August 26, 2015

I was around about $500 for mine from the dentist a few years ago. I agree, shop around if you can.
posted by getawaysticks at 11:27 AM on August 26, 2015

So I started out with a $750 night bite guard from the dentist, and it was glorious, but then I lost it and couldn't mentally justify another one. I bought this $120 custom bite guard from Amazon. It is definitely not as nice as the $750 one, but it seems to work.
posted by Comrade_robot at 11:33 AM on August 26, 2015

Just last month I got a custom one from my dentist for $500.
posted by HotToddy at 11:53 AM on August 26, 2015

I've been using a Dentek guard from Target for about $20. They last me about 6 months. You put it in hot water and then bite down. It has a tray that helps immensely in the fitting process. It fits under all my top teeth in my probably average-sized mouth with no wisdom teeth. This might be a good test of whether you can even use one comfortably. I've had others that I could not fit and some that were too bulky. This I think as there are various.
posted by RoadScholar at 12:04 PM on August 26, 2015

Many moons ago a friend referred me to an online lab that would send you molding material to get your bite. You would send it in and they would make you a custom night guard at a fraction of the price ($100) and you would get your ceramic mouth mold back as well so you can re-use it when you needed new guards. I used this company for years before they got shut down (by the ADA they said), but not before stocking up.

My dentist and hygienist were surprised at how well made it was, and for the price I paid. They even asked me who did it in order to refer it to patients who could not afford the guards they would make for them.

I did a quick search and came across this business who I have never used. If I needed a new guard though, I would definitely give them a try.
posted by wocka wocka wocka at 12:12 PM on August 26, 2015

Best answer: Another thing to consider: I was in the same situation where my dental insurance did not cover bite splints and the price seemed extraordinarily high. However, when I was prescribed a splint by a doctor (not a dentist) to mitigate TMJ (not to protect my teeth), my health insurance covered much more of the price than dental insurance would have. I had to go to a specialist to get the TMJ diagnosis, but it saved me hundreds of dollars. If you have TMJ in addition to dental concerns due to night grinding, this could be an option for you to explore.
posted by ialwayscryatendings at 12:15 PM on August 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

Previously (if a "nightguard" is the same as a "mouthguard").
posted by davcoo at 3:28 PM on August 26, 2015

My insurance also doesn't cover mine, and the new one I just picked up from the dentist last week was $460. So yes, call around, if that's more within your budget.
posted by umwhat at 5:16 PM on August 26, 2015

I think mine was around $500 or so but this was probably like 6 years ago? One thing to be aware of is that after it's made, if you get it made by a dentist, the dentist will then make minor adjustments, sand off any rough spots from doing so, and really check for proper fit. I am not a dentist so I don't know how important this actually is but it is important to me as a patient. Also 5 years in my guard is discolored and has a small back piece chipped off but is still going strong-- a great investment if you're able IMO.
posted by bookworm4125 at 11:49 PM on August 28, 2015

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