More than 1 in 10 adults suffer from bruxism, or teeth grinding and/or clenching, in the US alone. Bruxism is a condition that can cause irreparable damage to the teeth and mouth if it is allowed to go on for too long. Some of the damage can include loose teeth, pain in the mouth, jaw and ears, headaches, cracking of the teeth and can even turn into the condition known as TMJ. Fortunately there are products on the market, like mouth guards, that can help to protect your teeth and products like biofeedback headbands that can help to cure your bruxism all together. Though you can buy devices like mouth guards over the counter, they won’t be the highest quality in most cases. The best mouth guards are those that are custom made and those can be more expensive, as can the biofeedback headbands. Because of this added expense, many people who suffer from clenching and grinding wonder if help is available to cover the cost of these tools through dental insurance.
Q: Are Mouth Guards and Biofeedback Headbands Covered by Dental Insurance?
Unfortunately, mouth guards and biofeedback headbands are not covered by dental insurance. Why? Because bruxism is considered to be caused by pre-existing conditions that have been damaging your teeth over time. The damage that is caused by clenching and grinding can actually take years, but sometimes, by the time you or your dentist notice it, the damage has been done. Since you now know that these bruxism devices are not technically covered by dental insurance, you may feel as if there is no hope for your grinding or clenching. Fortunately there are some other ways for you to lower the cost of your bruxism treatment.
Q: What Other Options or Plans Might be Available?
You may want to consider a comprehensive dental plan in addition to the plan you may be using now. In this case, though it still won’t cover the cost of any grinding or clenching devices, it can cover some of the main causes of bruxism. For instance, if your bruxism is caused by misaligned teeth, a common reason for bruxing, the insurance will typically cover the cost to get that fixed. So, you may not be able to use insurance to cover your bruxism directly but indirectly, the comprehensive insurance will cover it as it is covering the cause of it.
Q: Will Insurance Cover Any Other Things Associated with Bruxism?
Technically, if you already have insurance and you start clenching or grinding, your dental insurance may cover damage caused by the action as it would not be a pre-existing condition. You can additionally look into other causes of bruxism, in addition to misaligned teeth. For instance, stress is a common cause of bruxism and you may be able to see your medical doctor who can help you with anxiety and stress coping, even prescribing medications if it is severe. When you take care of the cause of bruxism, you can take care of the bruxing action.
Q: What Part of Insurance Covers Mouth Guards?
No insurance will cover mouth guards for bruxism, but there are certainly ways that you can save money. For instance, you will find that you can buy them from stores in your area, like drug stores and even places like gas stations. Is this the best option? No, but when you hear a custom dental mouth guard can cost up to $1000 from your dentist, you might be looking for anything that can help…and something is better than nothing. Fortunately there is a way that you can get around that high cost. You can go directly to a dental lab, which is where dentists have mouth guards made anyway, and totally skip the middleman, meaning the dentist. This will save you hundreds of dollars and you will still be able to get the best mouth guards on the market.
Thought dental insurance will not cover the cost of mouth guards or other devices, like biofeedback headbands, it doesn’t mean that you have to spend a fortune just to get relief from your bruxism. As you can see, there are a number of other methods that you can employ that will save you money. A mouth guard will not cure your bruxism, but it can help you protect your teeth from permanent damage in the meantime, before a permanent solution can be found.