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How important is nightguard?

Hello folks,

This is our my first blog post. Since I saw quite a few patients recently with cracked teeth, I would like to share some important information with you about the importance of a nightgurad in preventing tooth loss. I would like to use the example of one of the cases  I recently saw at our Winnipeg dentist office. A patient presented with a dental emergency. He had a broken crown and a post on one of his front tooth which was done about two years ago at his previous dentist’s office.

I noticed the signs of heavy clenching and grinding on his teeth and informed the patient of the damage that was happeing to his teeth because of his clenching and grinding. I also informed him that one of the possible causes of the premature failure of his post and crown on the front tooth was his heavy clenching and grinding. I advised him to get a nightguard. He was not totally convinced that he need a nightguard.

He came back a few weeks later for a complete check-up and cleaning appointment. He complained of some sensitivity in one of his upper right teeth on biting. We did the crack test. There were no significant findings, but advised him of the possible crack  beacuse of his grinding habit in that particular tooth and advised a nightguard. He left on a note that he will consider the nightguard at his 6 month check-up and cleaning visit, but he came back a week later with a split tooth that had to be extracted and he would like that tooth to be restored by a dental implant.

Broken Post & Crown

Cracked Tooth

 This could have been avoided by just using a nightguard.Clenching and grinding can cause cracks, fractured fillings and crowns, fracture of the roots, sensitivity, toothaches, headaches, and joint pain. As illustrated using the above case, sometimes it can cause irreparable damage to teeth which needs expensive dental work. As we all know, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure, spending a small amount on nightguard can help preventing very expensive treatment in future.

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