Dental insurance and bruxism (teeth grinding / teeth clenching)
One in ten Americans suffers from bruxism. Bruxism, teeth grinding or teeth clenching is an unconscious movement of the jaws and teeth, which makes considerable pressure on the teeth and all surrounding parts of the head. If left untreated, bruxism can cause serious damage to the teeth, jaws, face, ears, neck and even trigger painful tension headache. In worst cases, jaws gets inflamed and the person suffers from the TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder.)
The first signs of habitual teeth grinding are damaged teeth. Loose teeth, chipped enamel and broken crowns add considerable cost to the dentist’s bill. Unfortunately, teeth grinding is not covered by any dental insurance company. It is considered a pre-existing condition, since people damage their teeth after a prolonged period of teeth grinding. It is up to the teeth grinders to find a way to lower their dental costs in spite of the lack of support from the dental insurance companies.
Cover yourself with comprehensive dental plan
Comprehensive dental plan covers you for all potential dental problems, over and above what your corporate dental plan offers. Even if it does not cover the damage caused by teeth grinding, it will cover fixing the teeth misalignment of malocclusion, if that is what is making you grind your teeth, which is one of the most common causes.
Make sure that your dental insurance plan covers regular and thorough dental check-ups. If you are working in a stressful environment, or expect to go through a stressful situation such as divorce, moving to another town or country, stress of the changes might trigger teeth grinding. Check your teeth regularly to notice damage before it becomes expensive to fix.
Find out other ways to reduce stress, such as increased exercise, avoiding caffeine before going to sleep, medication or soothing music.
Make sure that you do not have any damage caused by teeth grinding before signing up for a new dental plan. If you start with no pre-existing condition, such as teeth grinding, the insurance company cannot refuse to cover the damage if you suddenly start grinding your teeth. Just in case, talk about that possibility with your insurance agent and learn what you can expect.
Other ways to save money
Regular dental check-ups allow your dentist to spot the problem before it can be serious and expensive to fix. Dentist will notice if your teeth are misaligned and send you to the orthodontist, avoiding potential teeth grinding before it even starts. He will also spot the damage caused by teeth grinding early on, while you can still do something about preventing further damage.
As soon as your dentist, or your sleeping partner, tell you that you are grinding your teeth, get a good dental mouth guard. It will not cure your bruxism, but will protect your teeth and alleviate some of the discomfort caused by forceful clenching of the jaws. For further information on bruxism treatment check How to stop grinding teeth.
Get the best mouth guard you can afford.
Mouth guards are not covered by any existing dental plan. The damage caused by teeth grinding is not covered either. Your dentist bill will possibly quite high. You might be tempted to buy a cheap dental guard in your local drug store. Some are better than others. Check the thorough review of the best commercial mouth guards on the market.
Custom mouth guards
Unfortunately, ‘one size fits all’ mouth guards are never completely comfortable, and some people stop using them after a short time because their mouth or jaws get irritated, or they wake up because the mouth guard is falling out of their mouth.
If your dentist suggested that you should get a custom mouth guard, he is right. Custom mouth guards are made to fit your jaws and teeth and will provide you with unparalleled comfort. But, the price your dentist is asking for it, which can go to up to $1000, is probably over and above what you are ready to pay for it.
Fortunately, there are ways to get a custom dental mouth guard without your dentist’s help, and for a considerably less money. Your dentist is not making the mouth guard in his office. He is sending it to one of the professional labs. Such labs sell mouth guards directly to the customers, for the fraction of the price.
We have reviewed the most reliable labs selling custom made mouth guard at Best Dental Labs For Custom Night Guards page. Each lab will send you the kit that you use to make the impression of your teeth for a perfect fit. Making the perfect impression is fairly easy. Check the step-by-step instructions.
As you will see on their websites, professional custom mouth guards manufactured by the lab will cost you almost one tenth of the price of the guard made by your dentist.
Don’t feel sorry for your dentist. Since your dental bills for the damage caused by your teeth grinding are not covered, you deserve any edge that will allow you to save money on protecting your teeth from the damage caused by bruxism.
Keep in mind that your teeth guard is not the permanent solution. It will not cure your bruxism. If your dentist did not discover any dental reasons for your teeth grinding, talk to your family doctor or a sleep therapist to get to the bottom of the cause. Finding the cause will help you find the permanent solution. For further information on How to stop teeth teeth check Bruxism treatment article.