What is an occlusal splint?
A large number of people clench and grind their teeth. This is mostly a subconscious habit and people do it when they’re concentrating, stressed, or sleeping. It’s a difficult habit to control and can cause fracture and heavy wear even on healthy teeth. While it’s not always possible to ‘cure’ this habit, we can help prevent damage to your teeth.
So if you’re one of the many people that suffer from teeth clenching and grinding, you could benefit from occlusal splints. Sydney residents can contact us today to find out how this removable dental appliance can not only protect your teeth but help reduce headaches and face pain,
An occlusal splint is a hard plastic oral appliance that is designed to be worn while you’re sleeping. It’s custom-made and removable and designed to help prevent and protect the teeth,
jaw and muscles from overuse, wear and damage. Also known as a bite splint, night guard or dental splint, they’re ideal for counteracting excessive clenching and grinding of the teeth.
Why are night guards necessary?
If you suffer from teeth grinding and don’t use a night guard, it can have serious implications for your dental health. The enamel surfaces of your teeth will rapidly wear down and as a result, the soft internal part of the tooth will be left exposed.
Bacteria will then be able to penetrate through to the nerve which may require you to have a root canal, crowns or veneers.
What are the benefits of having a dental splint?
There are numerous benefits of having a dental splint. They will not only protect your teeth from excessive wear but can also reduce those frequent, unexplained morning headaches and face pain. Other benefits include:
- Prevent teeth wearing
- Protect any crowns or implants from being chipped or loosened
- Reduce jaw pain
- Relieve tension in the jaw joints and neck muscles
- Reduce unexplained morning headaches, neck and jaw joint aches
At The Dentist at 70 Pitt Street, we may also recommend that you see a chiropractor or physiotherapist when dealing with painful symptoms of grinding and clenching.
Am I the right candidate for occlusal splints?
If you suffer from any of the below symptoms then you may be a good candidate for occlusal splints:
- Jaw pain
- Difficulty chewing food
- Limited movement when opening your mouth
- Headaches when you wake up in the morning
- Increased teeth sensitivity
- Suffering from temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ)
What happens after I have a night guard fitted?
Once you’ve had your night guard fitted, this is what you need to know:
Make sure you wear your dental splint as instructed by your dentist (don’t use it while eating). It is usually only worn at night but some patients may also need to also use it during the day if necessary. At first, it may feel tight on your teeth and you may experience increased salivation but this is completely normal. Typically it takes about a month for patients to get used to wearing a dental splint.
Daily Care and Cleaning
You must only ever rinse your splint with cold water. Overnight you can store it in either a moist tissue or cold water. If it dries out, you will need to soak it in water for 24 hours in order for it to re-establish its original shape. For cleaning purposes, you’ll need to soak it Steradent for an hour each week.
Maintaining Correct Fit
It’s important that you use your dental splint at least every 2 weeks. If it’s left longer than this, your teeth may move permanently and as a result, the splint will no longer fit. You’ll have to return to your dentist to get it realigned, or worst case scenario you may have to get an entirely new dental splint made.
New Patient Offer
1st Visit comprehensive Examination,
Check-up, Teeth Cleaning for New Patients
How much does an occlusal splint cost in Sydney?
The cost for a new night guard is $700. If your splint needs to be realigned there will be a service fee. Please contact us today for a full breakdown of costs or to ask any questions you may have about the procedure.
We also now have a direct debit option available to our existing clients. To discuss, please contact our Practice Manager on (02) 9233 3399. The payment plans are interest-free.
Meet Our Team
Dr. Catherine-Anne Walsh
Dr. Yvonne Chow
Dentist - Sedation
Below are some of our most frequently asked questions about dental splints:
A dental splint typically lasts from 3 to 5 years.
Night guards are normally made from hard plastic but are sometimes made of softer acrylic-based materials.
There are 3 different types of occlusal splints, general splints (to treat TMJ disorder), SOMA and Somnomed.
It usually takes two appointments to get a dental splint made. The first is to take moulds or scans of your teeth and the second is to collect the splint after it’s been sent to a dental lab to be made.
A dental splint should be replaced after it's worn down after use or no longer fits.
At first, night guards may be uncomfortable to wear but after about a month patients tend to get used to them.
If you suffer from persistent teeth grinding and clenching then yes you should wear your dental splint every night to prevent any permanent damage to your teeth and jaw joints.
If your occlusal splint doesn’t fit anymore you will need to visit your dentist to have it repaired, reshaped or to have a new one created.
If your night guard doesn’t fit properly after having a filling then you should book an appointment with your dentist to identify and solve the issue.
The most common reason that your dental splint makes you gag is that it’s either too long or too high in the mouth. You should consult your dentist if the problem persists.
Book an appointment today and save $177 on your first visit
Why choose us to fit your night guard for teeth grinding?
At The Dentist at 70 Pitt Street we believe in three things:
- Professional, friendly customer service at all times
- Preventative dental care that leads to healthy teeth
- Practical education and advice that everyone can follow
We believe that your dental health is an essential part of your overall health care and just because it’s important, doesn’t mean it can’t be both a pleasant and an affordable experience.