Dentist in DC for a custom night guard
April 25, 2016 12:14 PM   Subscribe

My DC dentist has informed me that, one of these days, my nighttime gnashing will rid my mouth of any hint of tooth. They suggested that I get a night guard. Where in the area should I get a custom one for less than the $700 they quoted me?

$700 seemed steep (certainly more than any quote I've seen online and my dental insurance coverage is badbadbad).

I tried an OTC one, but it was bulky and flopped all over my mouth while I slept. No good.

Any recommendations for a good dentist in the DC area, who might do custom night guards without impoverishing me? Or should I head to the DCPL and 3D print me some (I kid, sort of)?
posted by cichlid ceilidh to Health & Fitness (12 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Just for reference, I got a sturdy custom guard (top teeth only) 3 years ago in the California Bay Area for about $350 (out of pocket) including all the minor adjustments that the dentist did to make the guard bite line up perfectly with my bottom teeth. So surely you can find a similar price in DC. Why not just search for dentists in your area and call them and get a quote? That's probably easier than what anyone here could tell you. I bet you wouldn't even have to call 10 of them to find a price you can afford.
posted by buckaroo_benzai at 12:26 PM on April 25, 2016

Best answer: A couple of things to try before spending hundreds...

These are somewhat customizable by heating in hot water and biting on it to get the shape of your teeth. $15 for 2. Maybe these are what you tried, though.

If those don't work, you could try this... you get an impression kit in the mail and then send it back to them. These have great reviews. $130.
posted by Huck500 at 12:31 PM on April 25, 2016 [4 favorites]

A second opinion would be cheaper. I've had so many dentists try to sell me night guards over the last decade that I'm beginning to think that night guards are to dentists as expensive eyeglasses are to optometrists. They're "nice to have" and not worth making an $800 insurance claim to obtain.
posted by theraflu at 12:34 PM on April 25, 2016

Went through this recently, paid out of pocket, and like buckaroo_benzai said, it was more like $350. I'd definitely consider calling around. (In my case, I was pretty sure I had started grinding my teeth - jaw pain, sharper/flatter tooth edges and bottoms - so I was pretty sure I'd have to get one. If you're less sure, a second opinion might also be worth it.)
posted by ubersturm at 12:39 PM on April 25, 2016

Try this one: SISU Sova Night Guard. You mold it to your teeth so it doesn't move around. It works.
posted by LoveHam at 1:07 PM on April 25, 2016

I had a similar discussion with my dentist in dc. I ended up getting a Primdent oral guard on amazon for less than a hundred dollars and he looked at it later on and said it was totally fine.
posted by Karaage at 1:13 PM on April 25, 2016

Response by poster: Thanks all! Seems I've not sufficiently looked into online alternatives to the night guard industrial complex.
posted by cichlid ceilidh at 2:09 PM on April 25, 2016

Yeah you should call around or try one off the internet. I got one about 6 months ago and it cost me around $300 out of pocket and that included adjustments. $700 is crazy high.
posted by FireFountain at 2:30 PM on April 25, 2016

I paid about that much for mine. All or Some of it can be covered under medical insurance vs dental insurance.
posted by discopolo at 3:48 PM on April 25, 2016

I have that exact J&S guard in Huck's answer - I got a bottom guard only and it's served me quite well for over a year. I was a bit worried about not getting a proper fit without dentist supervision, but it was not too hard to do the mold myself and everything came out just fine. Highly recommended. When you send in your mold you have the option to upgrade to harder plastics; I went with the middle option and liked it, but can't say anything about the other choices.
posted by cubby at 5:06 PM on April 25, 2016

I have had one dental assistant tell me that I was effectively an anti-vampire whose constant teeth-gnashing had robbed me of any hint of fangs, and other dentists tell me that though grinding is evident my teeth are fine. Thus, it might not hurt to seek a second opinion just on the necessity-of-effort front.
posted by yarntheory at 6:55 PM on April 25, 2016

My experience with night bite guards:

* Dental faculty practice dentist 1: "You're showing some wear on your teeth, you should think about a night bite guard." Regular dental faculty practice dentist: "Eh, I guess I could get you one, but they're expensive and you probably won't wear it anyway."

* Expensive local dentist made me a custom bite guard for $700; it was a really nice bite guard (comfortable, 'locked' into place). I lost it on a trip, couldn't mentally justify another.

* Bought the $120 bite guard from Amazon. It wasn't as nice as the $700 one (a bit looser, the first night I took it out of my mouth and threw it across the room), but I've gotten used to it. (Got the upper only, hardest plastic).
posted by Comrade_robot at 5:44 AM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

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