So you’ve just had your six month dental checkup and you were told you need to consider getting a dental night guard. What exactly is a dental night guard and what is it for? The team at our dental office in Douglasville is here to explain.
What’s a Dental Night Guard For?
Dental night guards are often the treatment of choice for patients who have a history of grinding their teeth while they sleep. Also known as bruxism, tooth grinding typically occurs at night when patients have no way of knowing they even do it. Chronic bruxism can lead to several problems with teeth and even the jaw. If left untreated, bruxism can cause broken, chipped, or cracked teeth, headaches, and TMJ/TMD. Bruxism can be treated and should be done so early to avoid future problems.
What Types of Night Guards Are Available?
There are two types of night guards: professional, custom-made and over-the-counter, boil and bite. While the night guards found at drugstores can work to reduce tooth grinding, there are several benefits to choosing a custom night guard made by a dentist. To begin, custom-made night guards use detailed molds of your teeth, making them a more comfortable choice. Your dentist will also consider the alignment of your jaw during the fitting process to ensure your night guard won’t place unnecessary stress on the joint which could lead to other problems. Lastly, while a store-bought night guard may seem attractive at first due to the lower cost, custom-made night guards usually last up to 10 years, making them a more cost-efficient option in the long run.
Are There Other Treatment Options?
Night guards may be the most common treatment method to stop tooth grinding, but it certainly isn’t the only option. Other recommended treatments may include methods of stress reduction, limiting the intake of caffeine or medication with stimulants, or perhaps orthodontics to straighten teeth and realign the jaw.
Signs of Bruxism
While your dentist in Douglasville is the best person to diagnose bruxism, there are several signs you should keep a lookout for in between visits including:
- Flat or chipped teeth
- Tooth sensitivity
- Waking up with sore jaw muscles
- Neck or facial pain
If you happen to notice any of these signs and suspect you may be grinding your teeth, we welcome you to give our Douglasville dental office a call to schedule an appointment. We’ll perform a thorough evaluation in our relaxing office to determine if bruxism is the root of what you’re experiencing. If it is we’ll talk with you about your treatment options and work together to decide which one may be best for you.
Whether you’re new to the area or just looking for a new dentist, choosing the right practice for yourself and your family can be an intimidating process. It’s important to know that not all dentists will be a good fit for your unique needs. But don’t worry, there’s a practice just for you, and we’d like to help you find it.
Do Your Research
The first step to finding the best dentist in Douglasville for your family is to do a bit of research. Ask friends, family, neighbors, or coworkers who they trust with their dental care. Then, compile a list of each and every one. Consider how close to work or home you’ll want the office to be and hop online to look into the office specifics. What services do they offer? What do their reviews say? Narrow down your list to a few that hit your most important criteria and pick up the phone and call them.
Once you get someone on the phone, use this opportunity to ask questions and get a feel of the personality of the practice. Some questions you should consider include:
- What should I expect during my first visit?
- How does the dentist keep up with new technology or training?
- Will my treatment plan and financing options be discussed with me?
Having a conversation with a team member in the office can reveal a lot about the dentist and the practice. The team member should answer pleasantly and be willing to answer any questions you have.
Schedule An Appointment
Once you think you’re ready to make a commitment to one of the dentists you called, it’s a good idea to make an initial appointment and use that visit as a ‘test’ to make sure that you’re comfortable, that you’re treated well, and that the office is clean. At this visit, you should have the opportunity to meet with the dentist so he or she can get to know about your health history, any concerns you may have, and what your oral health goals are. Your first visit should also include a thorough examination of your teeth and gums, an oral cancer check, and any necessary x-rays.
Searching for a new dentist in Douglasville is no easy task. You’re looking for someone who can treat your family the way you want to be treated and who makes you feel comfortable. And even though there are plenty of dental offices to choose from, following the tips above can help make the search easier and ensure you find the right practice for you.
Of course, if you’d like to visit our Douglasville dental office, we always welcome you to give us a call. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have to help you to find the best dentist for you.