How Much Does a Night Guard Cost?

Written by: Staff

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Grinding and/or clenching your teeth can eventually wear down the enamel, leading to gum soreness, cavities and/or cracks in the teeth.

If your dentist suspects you grind and/or clench your teeth more than you should while you’re sleeping, then he or she will often recommend a dental night guard, which is a plastic device designed to soften the impact of the grinding while you’re asleep.

These night guards, depending on your budget, can be purchased over the counter or customized to fit your mouth like a glove.

Night Guard Cost
Dental Impression” (CC BY 2.0) by

How much does a dental night guard cost?

The cost of a night guard will greatly depend on if it is customized or not.  An over-the-counter dental night guard, which is basically a one size fits all, will cost less than$20, whereas a customized dental night guard, which your dentist custom orders for you after a fitting, can cost $300 to $600, depending on the types of materials being used.  Keep in mind that from the research we did, there’s a slim chance your dental insurance policy will cover a customized night guard.

Customized night guard from the dentist$300 to $600
Over the counter -- usually made from a durable plastic, designed to protect the teeth.$15 to $20
From an online customized mouth guard retailer$100 to $200, an online night guard retailer, notes you can get your same exact product from an online retailer such as them for a lot less as you do not have to go to your dentist.  They also mentioned that one nine times out of 10, your dental insurance provider will not cover you as insurance companies often refuse to pay for something that is deemed “non-invasive” and pretty inexpensive to make.

Online, we were able to find countless people who did share their costs online and we included the costs in our table below to show you what you could expect if you were to use an online lab or dentist:

Orlando, FL$425 at local dentist
Richmond, VA$325 at dentist but paid $25 after insurance
Los Angeles, CA$425 for night guard designed for TMJ at local dentist
Denver, CO$625 after impressions and fittings at dentist
Dallas, TX$138 via online lab
Gainesville, FL$550 at local dentist
Greenville, SC$900 after impressions and fittings at dentist
Memphis, TN$550 at local dentist
Richmond, VA$500 quoted but insurance covered

What is a night guard?

A night guard is a device which will be placed in the mouth on the top of the teeth to help avoid any grinding and/or clenching, which is known as bruxism in the dental world.  If you grind your teeth, it implies that you’re moving your jaw back and forth, while clenching indicates you’re biting down with excessive pressure for an extended period of time.  This guard, when worn, will act as a protective barrier to help protect your bottom and top teeth.

These guards, also referred to as an occlusal guard or bite splint, is usually made of plastic and will either be designed to be worn on all of your upper teeth or both your upper and lower teeth.  In most cases, however, dentists will only recommend wearing it on your top teeth, but if you were to wear braces, for example, then your dentist may recommend the guard for your bottom teeth only.

As you wear your night guard, over time, your mouth will be able to re-establish your natural space and help protect your teeth from grinding and clenching, which, in turn, will help prevent chips, cracks and strain on your mouth.

While night guards will not prevent clenching and/or grinding 100 percent, it will serve as a cushion so your teeth will wear down on the guard instead of your teeth.  It will also allow your jaw to rest while asleep.

Does a night guard hurt?

At first, a night guard may take some time to get used to, but as time goes on, usually after a week, it will start to feel normal, but in some cases, people report it taking up to more than a month before they felt any sort of comfort.  In most cases, if someone is complaining for a long period of time, then it may mean they are using an over the counter night guard and not one specially made from a dentist or online lab.

Is a night guard your only option?

According to, there are some things you can do to lessen your grinding, including limiting your caffeine and alcohol intake, limit your smoking and/or using relaxation techniques before going to bed.

The pros of a customized night guard

As your mouthguard needs adjusting, your dentist will be able to adjust the guard to fit your mouth better.

Special mouthguards can help more than just with your clenching and grinding — it can also help with other conditions such as sleep apnea, TMJ, bruxism and/or misaligned teeth, for example.  Going to a dentist can help customize a night guard specifically for these conditions.

The cons of a customized night guard

In most cases, your dental insurance, if you have a policy, will be limited in coverage, often only covering one night guard during the life of your policy.  In reality, it is safe to assume you will need more than one night guard, even if you spend top dollar on a customized one.

A customized mouth guard can take up to two weeks to produce at a lab, meaning you may have to deal with your pain for the time being if it was designed for this situation.

For some, a customized mouth guard, when the dentist is making the impressions, can be painful as you will have to open your mouth wider than you naturally would.

Dental night guard side effects

If a night guard doesn’t fit as planned, it can move around at night, often irritating other areas of the mouth such as digging into your cheeks or could be improperly positioned over the gyms, causing irritation.

A night guard which is made from a gel-like material can often dislodge while you grind your teeth, while guards made from a softer material may not fit as snug when compared to an acrylic material.

Following to abide by the directions can yield ineffective results.

In some cases, a night guard can cause you to choke if dislodged sideways while sleeping.  This often happens if the mold doesn’t fit according to your mouth’s specification.

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