My Dentist has Recommended a Night Guard

A female hand sticking out of a hole from a blue background holds removable night retainers

My dentist has recommended that I wear a splint or night guard. A splint or a night guard is a very common type of treatment that dentist can recommend to you.

In this article, we look at some of the questions you should ask your dentist before proceeding with the treatment.

  1. The first question is to ask if there are any other treatment options available.

These options may be quicker and cheaper than having a night guard or a splint constructed.

  1. The next question to ask is why you are recommending this particular treatment to me.

The dentist should allow you to ask questions about the diagnosis and reasons why this has occurred in the first place. Although temporomandibular disorder is very common, not all patients need to be treated if at all.

  1. A good question to ask a dentist is to explain how the appliance will work for you.
  1. Can I have the appliance made on the NHS?
  1. If the treatment is going to be done under a private contract, will your insurance company put up the bill?
  1. If you are on a dental plan, will your current dental plan cover the full cost?

Some dental plans only cover part of the costs such as the laboratory element.

  1. How many visits will I need to get the occlusal appliance constructed?
  1. Will I have to pay for each visit or is the cost covered for everything including follow-up appointments?
  1. If there is an extra cost for the follow-up appointments, will there be at each visit, and how much?
  1. If say the splint does not help or it makes things even worse will you get a reimbursement in full or at least partially and what will that be?
  1. You should ask for the full instructions for wearing the occlusal appliance.

Some appliances need to be one 24-hour a day and others just at night-time.

  1. Once the occlusal appliance has been fitted by your dentist you should ask for the necessary steps to make sure that it is kept in a hygienic condition.
  1. Another important question to ask is if the occlusal appliance needs adjusting and if will you need to pay extra for that.
  1. Some patients do get a change in the occlusion and if this happens how are you going to treat me?
  1. If the pain gets worse what should I do and what painkillers should I be taking in the meantime?
  1. Will you have to wear the occlusal appliance for the rest of your life or is it only until the symptoms such as muscle soreness or temporomandibular pain disappear?
  1. There are many different types of occlusal appliances so it is a good idea to ask your dentist why they recommend this particular type of appliance and not a different type.
  1. Some splints can be very tight when they are in your mouth so you should have instructions on how to safely and easily remove them.
  1. Finally, if you are not in any particular pain, you should ask for a second opinion.
  1. There is also no harm in going to a different dental practice and asking their opinion including the costs.