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NIGHT GUARDS & MOUTH GUARDS

MouthGuard1

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CUSTOM DENTAL MOUTH GUARDS

Mouthguards are used for a variety of purposes, perhaps most commonly by athletes in sports such as boxing and football.

There are three main types of mouthguards:

  • Custom-fitted: These are the most reliable, but also the most expensive, option available. If you purchase a custom mouthguard, your dentist will take an impression of your teeth and create one that is molded to your specific shape. Therefore, they generally fit better than the other choices, and are often worth the additional cost.
  • Pre-made: Much cheaper than the custom-fitted variety, stock mouthguards are made to be worn immediately, but they’re not adjusted to any specific shape. Instead, they’re intended to be more of a one-size-fits-all option that works for people with a range of physical characteristics. They’re often bulky and more intrusive than the other types You can find them at most sporting goods stores and some drugstores.
  • Boil and bite: Somewhere in the middle, the boil and bite variety offer a certain degree of customization. The material softens in boiled water, at which point you can bite down and allow it to shape itself to your mouth. This provides a level of adaptation, but they’re still much less effective than the custom-fitted variety.

HOW THEY'RE MADE

If you want a custom mouthguard, you’ll need to go to a dentist. After an impression of your teet is taken, it is sent to a lab, which uses it to create a mouthguard based on the unique shape. Depending on your dentist, you may have the option of choosing a color (or simply clear).

Within a few days, you’ll be able to return to the office and try it on. At this point, your dentist will examine the fit and make any necessary minor adjustments. Finally, you’ll be able to return home with your new mouthguard, along with a case to protect it when not in use.

Depending on your specific insurance company and policy, you may be able to get coverage, whether partial or full, for a custom-fitted mouthguard.

MAINTAINING YOUR MOUTHGUARD

While a certain level of wear and tear is inevitable, you can take some steps to minimize damage to your mouthguard and preserve it for as long as possible:

  • Rinse it out before and after using it, or brush it with toothpaste to prevent bacterial growth.
  • Occasionally clean it with soap and water before rinsing and drying.
  • Make sure to store it in a solid protective container that allows airflow.
  • Keep it away from extreme temperatures, direct sunlight, and hot water.
  • Check periodically for any defects and get a replacement if it becomes worn down.

WHICH TREATMENT IS RIGHT FOR YOU

There’s no individual treatment that will work perfectly for all individuals suffering from Obstructive Sleep Apnea, but the options covered here are all good places to start. OSA patients should be evaluated by a physician and have a sleep study performed. This will help determine if you, or the patient, has mild, moderate, or severe OSA. Mild to moderate cases respond best to oral appliance therapy.

Dentists Winston-Salem, NC

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Drs. Leal, Spangler, and Johnson in Winston-Salem, NC provide the highest quality dental care with a personal touch, thoughtfully considering each patient and their needs.  We offer comprehensive family and esthetic dentistry and love helping people achieve a healthy smile.

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DENTAL SLEEP DISORDER APPLIANCES

In addition to the common mouthguard, there are a few varieties of dental sleep devices designed to treat mild to moderate Obstructive Sleep Apnea and other sleep disorders. While we can’t cover all the available options here, these are three of the most commonly used treatments.

MANDIBULAR ADVANCEMENT DEVICES

Compared to the appliances we’ll discuss later, mandibular advancement devices are much more popular and widely used. They’re intended to treat snoring and mild to moderate Obstructive Sleep Apnea, and are sometimes known as dental sleep devices or oral appliances.

These essentially work by pushing the lower jaw forward. Since the tongue is attached to the lower jaw, this moves the tongue and other soft tissue forward, thereby opening your airway.

TONGUE RETAINING DEVICES

Tongue retaining devices work similarly to mandibular advancement devices, but there are some important differences. Instead of moving the jaw in order to adjust the position of the tongue, tongue retaining devices attach directly to the tongue to achieve the same result.

Compared to mandibular advancement devices and other sleep disorder appliances, tongue retaining devices can come with fewer complications and side effects. On the other hand, they’re also generally less comfortable, and it can take weeks or even months to be able to wear them without discomfort. Both have been shown to be equally effective in treating mild to moderate OSA.

CPAP AND DENTAL SLEEP DEVICE

CPAP, which stands for continuous positive airway pressure, is designed to apply air pressure to your airway in order to keep it open overnight. While the pressure is designed to be mild, only enough to have the desired effect, CPAP is still associated with discomfort from the air pressure, along with the fit of the mask.

In an attempt to alleviate the intensity of the side effects of CPAP, physicians often recommend using another sleep disorder appliance along with your CPAP mask. The combination of these treatments allows you to use your CPAP mask at a lower pressure than you would if you were using it alone, making the side effects less of an issue.

PRACTICE REVIEWS

I have been a patient of this practice for several years and cannot say enough great things! Though I typically see Dr. Spangler, all three doctors are extremely knowledgable, thorough and attentive to detail. The staff as a whole combines professionalism with genuine concern for the patient to provide individualized care. Scheduling or being seen in a timely manner has never been an issue as the administrative staff members are kind, caring and extremely helpful! I recommend this office to all of my friends-- my family members are already patients 🙂

Brianna Robinson

My daughters and I went for a new client appointment today and were thrilled with their staff and level of service provided. Would highly recommend their office to anyone looking for top quality dental service.

Angie Mauldin

Absolutely fantastic dental practice - I have been a patient of Dr. Leal's for years and have received top notch dental care. The business side of the practice is great too. I could not be more pleased with my total care - dentists, hygienists and office staff. They genuinely care about me, are very respectful and have always run on time for my appointments.

Will Miller

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