Hard Mouth Guards – Uses, Pros & Cons

teethnightguard_dual3The hard mouth guard is the mouth guard that many of us know, and a few love, that is utilized for more complex treatments in the dental office. Hard mouth guards have many different forms and functions depending on their need and use.


From What are Hard Mouth Guards Usually Made?

The hard mouth guard is typically made from the same material that conventional dentures are made. This material is an acrylic material, most often poly-methylmethacrylate. This material is strong and durable and can be added to if needed.


What Are The Ways Hard Mouth Guards Can Be Manufactured?

Unlike soft mouth guards, hard mouth guards need to be overseen by staff with appropriate dental knowledge and expertise. This could be either in a dentist’s office or in a dental laboratory. Either way, a dentist will need to oversee the manufacturing and placement of the hard mouth guard.


Hard Mouth Guards Uses

The hard mouth guard can come in complete or partial coverage modalities. Each of these have their place in a complete dental treatment plan. This is where having comprehensively trained dental personnel to fit and manufacture this prosthesis is absolutely necessary.


Hard Mouth Guard Downfalls

The hard mouth guard’s main downfall is exactly that, it is hard. This means that it is fixed into place. Wherever your teeth are placed in the mouth guard, they must remain when wearing the mouth guard. If there is any need for change or adaptation, you will need to be seen in your dentist’s office to have that change made. This, as well as the initial manufacturing and placement of the mouth guard, will have significantly greater cost than soft mouth guards.


Hard Mouth Guards Cost Differences

If your mouth guard can be made completely in your dentist’s office without being sent off to a dental laboratory, this can sometimes decrease the cost of your hard mouth guard. This is due to not having the cost of the dental laboratory added into the total cost of the treatment. Overall, however, the total cost of a hard acrylic mouth guard should be about the same whether it is in office or laboratory fabricated. This all will depend on the average cost of a hard acrylic mouth guard in your area. Costs do vary geographically.


Hard Mouth Guards Advantages

As mentioned before, the advantage of the the office made mouth guard is that it possibly could be made less expensive than one that is sent to a dental laboratory. In addition to a lower cost, your dental office fabricated mouth guard can be manufactured in much less time most often, sometimes in the very same day.


Hard Mouth Guards Bottom Line

Hard mouth guards definitely have their place in treatment plans. This is to be determined by a dentist. Most often they are utilized for grinding and occlusion issues to reposition the jaws. Other times, they will be used to alleviate snoring. They can be partial or full coverage, but they do need to be prescribed by a dentist. This is not something that anyone suggests going online or ordering by mail.



Okeson JP.

J Am Dent Assoc. 1987 Jun;114 (6): 788 – 91.

Justin Clemens
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