Custom-fit mouthguards are prescribed and created by a dental professional from thermoplastic material and are based on a detailed mold taken of your mouth and teeth. The nightguards are highly personalized as your dentist can adjust the material depending on your level of teeth grinding and clenching, and they are designed to fit perfectly in your mouth. These occlusal splints can be made for either sports or for nighttime teeth grinding, and are created differently depending on the intended use.
Most of these devices are generally only fitted for the upper teeth, but can also be fitted for the bottom set of teeth in certain situations. Unlike over-the-counter mouthguards, no two custom mouthguards are the same, and for that reason, they provide the most complete protection for your mouth.
The first step is to take an impression of your teeth. This is generally done using a dental putty that forms to all the crevices of each tooth and creates an exact mold of your smile – unlike regular store-bought mouthguards which just form to the general shape of the tooth line.
This mold is then used in the dental office or, more often, is sent to a laboratory where the actual mouthguard is created. The structure is made by layering superheated plastic to precise specifications and is then cooled to create an extremely durable piece against dental wear.
Because custom mouthguards are so precisely made, they are able to provide you with optimal safety and comfort. This is something that over-the-counter mouthguards cannot ever achieve.
The level of protection afforded by custom-fitted mouthguards is unrivaled by any other mouthguard, and their durability is enhanced by the snug shape, which hugs each tooth closely, eliminating unwanted movement. For those who violently grind, clench, or gnash their teeth at night, custom-fit nightguards can be made thicker and with a stiffer material, alleviating and reducing pressure on the jaw. And don’t forget that mouthguards not only protect your teeth and oral appliances; they also protect you from getting a concussion!
Custom-fit mouthguards are very durable and do not lose their shape like store bought mouthguards tend to. The general rule of thumb for custom mouthguards is that every few years they may need replacing, depending on the level of wear and tear, and whether or not there have been any changes in the mouth or to the wearer’s teeth.