In Lab Time
In lab time 1 week

ADA Codes
D9941 Fabrication of Athletic Mouthguard (CDT 2016)

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Research indicates that a properly fitted, custom-made sports mouthguard may also reduce the rate of concussion:

"Researchers and, most importantly, parents, are looking for ways to better protect children against concussions," said lead author Jackson Winters, DDS, a pediatric dentist who also served as a high school and collegiate football official for 28 years. "Consumers may believe that today's advanced helmet design provides sufficient protection, but our research indicates that, when compared to over-the-counter versions, a custom-made, properly fitted sports mouthguard also is essential to player safety."
(May/June 2014 Issue of General Dentistry the peer review journal of the American Academy of Dentistry, and, reported by the NFL.)

Levels of protection
Choose the right sports mouthguard for your patient. There is a comprehensive range of sports mouthguards available from Artistic Dental Laboratories. Depending upon the age of your patient and/or the type of sport your patient participates in, there are five different ways to fabricate the appliance:

1 layer of EVA (lamination) material with added biting protection. Designed specifically for children under 11 years old with mixed dentition.

2 layers of EVA material with 3mm total thickness. Designed for wrestling, volleyball, mountain biking, and motorcross.

2 layers of EVA material. Specially for soccer, rugby, basketball, softball, rollerblading, skating and skateboarding.

2 layers of EVA material. Designed for baseball, football, racquetball, martial arts and boxing.

Heavy Pro
3 layers EVA material with one hardened layer. A custom fit for ice, field or street hockey, kickboxing, and other heavy contact sports that involve blows from pointed objects.

Clinical Indications

Experts recommend that a properly fitted, custom-made sports mouthguard should be won by athletes in competitive and recreational sports whenever impact, contact, and/or collision may occur.

The American Dental Association recommends wearing custom sports mouthguards for acrobatics, basketball, boxing, field hockey, football, gymnastics, handball, ice hockey, lacrosse, martial arts, racquetball, roller hockey, rugby, shot putting, skateboarding, skiing, skydiving, soccer, squash, surfing, volleyball, water polo, weightlifting, and wrestling. Other experts include baseball, softball infielders, and cheerleading on the list.

It is also recommended to wear sports mouthguards during all practices and competition.

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Preparation Requirements

A sports mouthguard requires a sharp, clean fabrication impression or model which extends at least 5mm past labial/buccal margins and 10mm past lingual margins with a proper opposing model. Please provide an open construction bite registration.

  • Start with an accurate, void-free impression of both arches.
  • Ensure no tears or bubbles are present in impression material for precision fit.
  • Instruct patient to close into centric relation to verify midline position and bite.
  • Place two cotton rolls behind the cuspids and instruct patient to close; with patient in open bite, inject bite registration into the posterior openings of both quadrants.
  • In addition, inject bite registration into anterior opening to capture a complete open construction bite.
  • Include opposing model.
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Patient Delivery

Seat protective appliance and evaluate fit and retention

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It is important to try the mouthguard in the mouth to check for fit and comfort. Minimal adjusting may be necessary. This is done by slightly warming the posterior occlusal surface of the mouthguard, taking extreme care not to overheat or distort, and placing the mouthguard in the patient‘s mouth and asking them to bite down very lightly, gently and carefully until all posterior teeth occlude. Care should be given to be sure they do not bite down excessively as the occlusal separation of 3 mm to 4 mm must be maintained to ensure proper absorption of impact energy.

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Print PDF for Patient Care

Patient Care

  • Sports mouthguards are for recreational, professional, or competitive athletes and should be worn in practices as well as games.
  • Initially wear the sports mouthguard during training or practices in order to adapt to the new feel of the guard in the mouth.
  • Do not chew on or alter the sports mouthguard as this will affect the fit and possibly damage it or decrease its effectiveness.
  • Custom-made sports mouthguards are made for that particular time when the case of the the dentition is taken.
  • It may be easier to find a lost sports mouthguard on the playing field if it is colored plastic, rather than clear.
  • Rinse the sports mouthguard with cold water or with a mouth rinse before and after each use.
  • Avoid contact with hot water.
  • Since the mouth contains bacteria and plaque, it is important to clean your sports mouthguard after each use.
    • Clean it with toothpaste and a toothbrush or clean it in cool, soapy water and rinse thoroughly.
    • Only use a soft toothbrush (as a medium or hard one will scratch the polished surface of your sports mouthguard).
    • Store and transport the sports mouthguard in a firm, perforated container to prevent damage and permit air circulation.
    • Do not close the sports mouthguard container until the freshly washed sports mouthguard is dry.
  • Do not share your sports mouthguard with others.
  • Avoid high temperatures or direct sunlight to minimize distortion.
  • Check the condition of the sports mouthguard occasionally and replace it if it has holes or tears, becomes loose, or irritates the teeth or gums.
  • Remove retainers and other removable appliances such as orthodontic retainers, removable bridges, or dentures (complete or partial) before inserting the sports mouthguard.
  • If the sports mouthguard absorbs a strong blow, it may need to be replaced to maintain a proper fit and protection.
  • Due to pressure from the teeth, and alternate wetting and drying that occur between uses and during cleaning, sports mouthguards wear out over time. The material deteriorates and loses resilience, reducing effectiveness.
    • Sports mouthguards should be replaced every two to three years.
    • Earlier replacement is recommended if they become cracked, torn, and split, or if fit deteriorates, significant wear appears, or there is unsatisfactory retention.
  • Bring the sports mouthguard to each dental hygiene visit to have it evaluated by the dental hygienist.
  • Always transport your sports mouthguard in the (color?) container supplied with it.
  • Do not leave your sports mouthguard in a warm place or near to a radiator or any heat source as the heat will permanently change its shape and it will no longer fit you.
  • Never leave your sports mouthguard in your sports bag or allow it to go in to a washing machine or tumble dryer.
  • Never leave your sports mouthguard where a small child or pets may attempt to chew it.
  • Never handle or wear another person‘s sports mouthguard.
  • It‘s a good idea to only wear a sports mouthguard over clean teeth. Otherwise, cavity-causing bacteria can be trapped against the surface of the teeth and gums by the sports mouthguard. Usually, our saliva will “wash away” bacteria throughout the day, but when a sports mouthguard is worn, that bacteria stays in place and can increase your risk of cavities!

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