Frequently Asked Questions
How do oral appliances work?
Chronic stress can cause jaw muscles to tighten during sleep. This tension clenches the teeth together, which can then grate the upper and lower rows against each other in a grinding motion. If this persistent clenching and grinding go untreated, it can erode the enamel, compromise the integrity of your teeth, and cause excruciating pain. This is where oral appliances come in. A custom-made oral appliance will protect your teeth from touching each other and wearing down the enamel, preventing further harm on your teeth and jaw.
How long do oral appliances last?
The longevity of your oral appliance will depend on the severity of your teeth grinding and how well you care for the guard. Typically, oral appliances last between 5 and 10 years. It is important to wear your guard each night to preserve your teeth alignment. If you choose not to wear it for some time, your teeth can shift and the guard may no longer fit, so a visit to the dentist for another guard or alignment check will be necessary.
Can oral appliances be repaired or replaced?
Yes. Oral appliances endure nightly wear and tear and will eventually need to be repaired or replaced. It is common for your teeth to shift over time, so an annual visit to ensure your oral appliance is properly aligning is suggested. If you notice any cracks, tears, or deformations, contact your dentist to replace your oral appliance.
What are oral appliance made of?
This varies, depending on the type of oral appliance you choose. Soft night guards are made from a flexible material called ethylene-vinyl acetate. Dual Laminate night guards are composed of two distinct layers of ethylene-vinyl acetate and acrylic, giving it a soft inner layer and a hard outer layer. An Acrylic night guard is composed entirely of durable acrylic matter, which makes the appliance entirely rigid.
How much do oral appliances cost?
The cost of oral appliances is different for each patient. Factors that may affect the cost of your oral appliance include the guard material, appointment and visits, insurance type, and more. The best way to find out how much you’ll pay for a oral appliance is to schedule a consultation with your dentist.