Are Mouth Guards Covered By Dental Insurance?

When your dentist first tells you that you need a night guard, the dental office may tell you whether or not your insurance will pay the cost. While your dentist is knowledgeable in this area, each dental plan is unique, so you’ll want to double-check with your insurance carrier to make sure you’re covered. If your dental clinic informs you that night guards are covered but you subsequently find out that they aren’t, you’ll still be liable for paying for them.

Check with your insurance carrier to be sure. In most cases, you can research your plan online or call your dental insurance customer care and request an explanation of your benefits. He or she will know whether night guards are fully covered, somewhat covered, or not covered at all.

Preventative care such as cleanings and x-rays are covered by most dental insurance policies, but major care such as crowns and night guards is not covered by all. If your plan covers other major dental procedures like crowns, bridges, or dentures, it’s likely to cover night guards as well, but always double-check.

Once you’ve determined whether or not your plan covers night guards, you’ll need to determine how much they’re covered. Night guards are frequently covered at 50%, which means you are responsible for half the cost of the night guard (or your plan’s allotment for night guards, whichever is less) while your insurance company covers the other half. Even if your plan covers night guards at 50%, if your dental provider (aka your dentist) is out of network, you could find up spending more than half.

Sounds like a lot of nonsense, right? We understand that insurance might be perplexing. Let’s have a look at a few examples. We’ll imagine that the total cost of the night guard without insurance is $1,000, and that your insurance plan’s night guard allowance (the amount your dentist can charge) is $800 in both cases.

Scenario 1: Your dental provider (also known as your dentist) is in network (i.e., they participate in your insurance plan) and your insurance covers night guards for 50% of the cost. This does not necessarily imply that you would pay half the amount for your night guard, as the allowance is also taken into consideration. You’ll pay half of the allowance, not necessarily half of the night guard’s cost, if you use a participating service. So you’d pay $400 in this situation.

Scenario 2: Your dental provider (i.e., your dentist) is out of network (i.e., they aren’t covered by your insurance plan) and your insurer only pays half of the cost of night guards. In this situation, you would still be responsible for half of the allowance, or $400, as well as the $200 difference between the total cost of the night guard and the allowance. In this case, you would pay $600 for your night guard out of pocket.

The amount of coverage, allowances, and cost restrictions on dental insurance plans vary depending on your dental insurance provider and plan, so it’s always a good idea to check with your dental insurance provider to see what’s covered and how much is covered in your scenario. The basic truth is that if you buy a night guard from your dentist, whether or not it is covered by your insurance, you could end up spending a lot of money.

Your Options When Night Guard is not Covered by Your Insurance

It’s a real sorrow to learn that your insurance doesn’t cover night guards. Your teeth are physically crying for relief, but the cost of a night guard, according to your dentist, is prohibitively expensive. If this is the case, there are two big solutions that won’t break the bank: over-the-counter mouth guards and custom-fit night guards.

Over-the-counter Mouth Guards

This first choice is certainly quite appealing because you can immediately get a night guard at your local drugstore or on Amazon for a fraction of the amount your dentist quoted. Unfortunately, while this alternative is inexpensive and convenient, it is not perfect.

Night guards sold over the counter claim to be one size fits all, however this isn’t always the case. Some over-the-counter night guards employ the “boil and bite” method to try to shape the guard to your mouth, but you won’t obtain the exact fit that a custom night guard will provide.

If you’ve ever had to wear a boil and bite mouth guard for a sport, you know how they tend to shift around or fall out because it’s impossible to have a perfect fit with a product made to fit every mouth.

Furthermore, over-the-counter night guards are more prone to cause problems like pain, tooth movement, and jaw misalignment. These are most likely the issues you’re trying to solve with a night guard. Custom-fit night guards are a better option than over-the-counter night guards, yet they’re still reasonable!

Custom-fit Night Guards

Instead of being a one-size-fits-all solution, custom-fit night guards allow you to take imprints of your teeth at home, just as your dentist would. You save money by cutting out the middleman by ordering them online rather than going via your dentist, and you can do it all from the comfort of your own home.

The Bottom Line

Restorative dental procedures, including night guards, is not cheap. Repairing chipped or shattered teeth is both costly and unpleasant. If you want to maintain your smile and are tired of the bad consequences of clenching and grinding your teeth at night, you should invest in a good night guard that fits your mouth and protects your teeth.

You should consider your options carefully, especially if your insurance does not cover night guards. The goal is to hire a good night guard at a reasonable price. Don’t risk your teeth by using an over-the-counter night guard that may or may not fit. Choose a personalized night guard that will feel comfortable and will fit perfectly.

How much does a night guard cost from the dentist?

How much does a dentist’s night guard cost? The cost of a night guard from a dentist can range from $200 to $1,000, however most are between $300 and $500. Because you’re paying for the dentist’s services, this is the most expensive choice.

Is a mouthguard a dental appliance?

Mouthguards are dental accessories that protect your teeth and gums from injury. Although over-the-counter stock mouthguards are affordable, custom-fit mouthguards from a dentist provide better protection for your teeth. Children and adults who participate in leisure activities or contact sports should always have a mouth guard on hand to protect their teeth from impacts and mishaps.

Mouthguards and other dental equipment protect your teeth, gums, tongue, and cheeks from trauma caused by sports or teeth grinding. People who suffer from sleep apnea can speak with their dentist about having a nightguard made specifically for them.

Can you ask your dentist for a mouth guard?

Teeth grinding overworks your jaw muscles, causing soreness in the morning. Bruxism, if left untreated, can wear away tooth enamel to the point where porcelain crowns or other tooth restorations are required to restore your smile.

The sooner you get a night guard to preserve your mouth, the greater your chances of avoiding costly dental operations and daily discomforts are.

How Does a Night Guard Protect Teeth?

A night guard is a detachable appliance that forms a barrier between your upper and lower teeth, preventing you from biting down or clenching your jaw as you sleep.

Your dentist should take dental impressions during your initial session and send them to the lab where your dental guard will be produced. Your night guard will be waiting for you when you return to the office.

Your dentist may make minor adjustments to the fit of your night mouth guard so that you can breathe and sleep comfortably while wearing it.

How Will I Benefit From Wearing a Mouth Guard?

Aside from preventing nagging pains, discomfort, and waking up your partner, a sleeping mouth guard will save you money in the long run by avoiding costly restorative dentistry.

The stresses put on your teeth by bruxism can wear down enamel and potentially lead to tooth loss if left untreated. A dental night guard is substantially less expensive than a dental bridge or implant.

If you’re fed up with waking up in discomfort, talk to your dentist about having a teeth grinding guard.

After your first night wearing a dental night guard, you might be amazed at how rested you feel. Teeth grinding is a difficult habit to break, especially if you’re stressed. Thankfully, a night guard keeps your smile safe while you sleep, allowing you to maintain good oral hygiene.

What can I use instead of a mouthguard?


Bruxism is a dental condition that can occur when a person is sleeping. Bruxism, often known as teeth grinding, can cause chipped, worn-down teeth, inflamed gums, and other jaw issues.

A mouth guard is one of the more frequent bruxism treatments, however there are many alternative and advanced therapies available. Consider these three other options to discuss with your dentist if mouth guards are uncomfortable or do not assist.

An occlusal splint is a treatment that is comparable to a mouth guard. While wearing a mouth guard protects your teeth from harm, it does nothing to help you stop grinding your teeth.

The sophisticated design of the occlusalsplint will assist in repositioning the jaw muscles, preventing bruxism from occurring while you sleep. A mouth mold is used by a dentist to construct an occlusal splint. The mold is produced around the patient’s teeth and can be made with either the top or bottom set of teeth.

For patients seeking mouth adjustments, an occlusal splint is a good option. You may grind your teeth if they are out of alignment or if you have an overbite or underbite. While your body learns the right jaw and tooth positioning to avoid grinding, the splint will protect your teeth from further harm.

An occlusal splint is treated similarly to a mouth guard. The splint is usually in the shape of a clean plastic mold that may be brushed and soaked in water to remove germs and bacteria.

The majority of the time, bruxism is caused by stiff jaw muscles rather than the teeth themselves.

Jaw movements frequently cause damage to the teeth. Botox injections are one technique to help relax stiff jaw muscles.

Botox has a wide range of applications outside of cosmetic surgery, and it is frequently used to treat muscle disorders. An injection into the jaw muscle relaxes the muscle and prevents the clenching actions that are common in bruxism.

Botox does wear off after a while, so your dentist may recommend that you have it done again every few months. Because of the Botox treatment, your body will automatically learn not to clench the jaw muscle over time.

Biofeedback therapies are another approach to assist train your jaw to cease clenching. A tiny electrode records jaw action while you sleep as part of the biofeedback treatment for bruxism.

When the technology detects jawbonestightening, the biofeedback technology can trigger a response. Vibration or sound will be used to alert your body to stop the action. The device is usually attached behind the ear or on the back of the head when you go to sleep at night.

Through the use of indications, biofeedback trains the body to quit clenching its jaw. With or without the biofeedback gadget, you will eventually stop your jaw from clenching during sleeping. The length of time it takes to treat the illness is determined by a number of factors.

Depending on how long you grind your teeth and how your body reacts to the treatment, it could take weeks or months. A doctor can evaluate the input and make any modifications. For example, you may clench on one side of your mouth more than the other and require additional jaw adjustments on that side.

The bruxism will fade away over time. Biofeedback and occlusal splints can be coupled to give protection and treatment at the same time.

Should night guard cover gums?

The crown of the tooth above the gum line, as well as the junction and root of the tooth below the gum line, are all protected by athletic mouth guards. A sports mouth guard covers both the teeth and the gums (gingiva), but a night guard simply needs to cover the teeth and, most crucially, their biting surfaces. Irritation and inflammation of the gum tissue is common. Bacteria trapped against our gingival tissues for the duration of our sleep could be detrimental to our gum health. During a night’s sleep, the bacteria levels around the gums would increase. Repeatedly doing so will almost certainly result in gingivitis and possibly even gum disease (periodontitis). Periodontal disease is irreversible and might result in tooth loss. Our own spit is nature’s mouthwash! Saliva will wash our teeth and gingiva on a regular basis. This natural cleansing power helps to maintain the pH in our mouth balanced (preventing decay) and keeps germs at bay. This natural cleansing system is considerably hampered if any moderate to full coverage appliance is worn. A mouth guard or night guard with perforations (holes) is preferable because saliva may flow more freely, and sips of water can be swished to assist wash the teeth and gingiva, minimizing bacteria colonization.

Should a night guard cover all teeth?

Many people are shocked by how tight their night guard fits when they first put it on; it may feel awkward or uncomfortable, leading you to question if your night guard is properly fitted.

Your night guard should fit snugly

The first thing to remember about your dental guard’s fit is that it should pop into place and fit very tightly; you shouldn’t have to utilize your opposing jaw’s teeth to keep your night guard in place. This is true whether you have a night guard for your top or bottom teeth, as well as whether the night guard is soft or rigid.

That tight fit is what indicates that your night guard is properly fitted. Keep in mind that you had imprints taken of your teeth so that your night guard would fit like a glove and be completely unique to you. Something is amiss if it doesn’t fit like a glove.

Your mouth guard should feel as if it is securely holding your teeth in the proper position. It shouldn’t, however, feel like it’s exerting so much pressure on your teeth that it’s moving them about as Invisalign would.

If you’re concerned that your night guard is too tight, wait until the morning to check how your teeth feel. You may have some soreness for the first few nights while your teeth adjust to the night guard, but your teeth should not be severely sore or hurt. If this is the case, you should get your night guard fitted again.

Your night guard won’t go all the way to the gum

Another key point to remember regarding the fit of your night guard is that it will not be molded to your teeth all the way down to the gum line at the front. Some people expect their night guard to be as comfortable as Invisalign or orthodontic retainers, but this is not the case. Because your night guard is merely meant to protect your teeth from grinding and clenching, it doesn’t have to totally encircle them all the way to the gum line. Your night guard may extend further up some teeth than others (e.g. front teeth vs. rear teeth) depending on your bite and dental alignment, but it will only cover roughly half of your tooth in general.

The bite surface might be flat or indented

You should also be careful of the design of your night guard’s occlusal surface. The component of the night guard that makes contact with your opposing jaw is this one. It may not appear that the side of your night guard has anything to do with how well your night guard fits, but it does. Indented and flat occlusal surfaces are the two types of occlusal surfaces.

A flat occlusal surface is, as the name implies, flat, and it allows your jaw to move freely. While this form of night guard does not prevent teeth grinding, it does protect them from clenching and grinding. For some persons, especially heavy grinders who experience resistance from an indented occlusal surface, it is more pleasant.

Why do dentists push night guards?

A sleep guard may be recommended by your dentist to alleviate morning headaches, relieve TMJ jaw pain, and prevent damage to your teeth, jaw, crowns, and other dental restorations.

Why do my teeth hurt after wearing my night guard?

Night guards are little trays that you sleep with over your teeth. These trays act as a barrier between your teeth and the outside world, preventing damage. Wearing night guards should not cause any discomfort. You may notice the gadget in your mouth when you first start wearing it. After a while, however, you should scarcely notice it.

If you experience pain or your mouth hurts after wearing a night guard, it’s a symptom that the device isn’t properly fitting in your mouth. It’s possible that the device is too big or too little, and it’s not giving you with the level of protection that you want. In this case, it’s recommended to go to a TMJ clinic to get your sleep guard properly adjusted.