Custom mouthguards are fabricated in a dental laboratory using dental impressions or digital scans, which can be obtained through Brooke Orthodontics.
CUSTOM MADE MOUTHGUARDS
The primary role of mouthguards is the protection of the teeth and orofacial structures. Mouthguards should be able to provide adequate protection in the areas most likely to be traumatized (ie: maxillary incisors). The secondary role of mouthguards is to reduce concussion risk by absorbing shock, stabilizing the head and neck, and limiting movement caused by a direct impact to the jaw.
(EL Antenucci. Academy of General Dentistry. “Custom-Made Mouthguards Reduce Athletes’ Risk of Concussion.” Science Daily, May 2014).
This protection can be accomplished to a limited degree by simple over-the-counter or boil-and-bite mouthguards that are sold at almost any sporting goods store. Custom-Made Mouthguards help to reduce comfort and breathing issues created by such mouthguards.
(Duddy FA et al. Influence of Different Types of Mouthguards on Strength and Performance of Collegiate Athletes: A Randomized Clinical Trial, Dental Traumatology 2012, 28:263-267).
Basic design elements that are incorporated into custom mouthguards are: comfort – obtained using a soft resilient material (EVA) that will not abrade the oral soft tissues, retention – the ability to remain in place at the moment of impact, material thickness – to adequately absorb impact force, occlusally balanced – to ensure an even distribution of force across the entire dentition, dental disarticulation – to maximize airflow to the lungs.
Collectively, these elements produce a slight forward/downward movement of the mandible, thus opening the space between the glenoid fossa and the condylar head. This may reduce the opportunity for the condylar head to directly impact the glenoid fossa after an upward blow to the jaw, thus reducing the impact and acceleration forces to the entire temporal region of the brain.
Custom mouthguards maybe categorized into Protection Guards or Performance Guards. Protection guards are worn on the maxillary (upper) arch, and are ideal for contact team sports (hockey, football, rugby) or contact individual sports (boxing, wrestling, mixed martial arts). These mouthguards cover all surfaces of the maxillary dentition – maximizing protection for the teeth and temporo-mandibular joints.
Performance mouthguards are worn on the mandibular dentition (lower) arch. These guards may enhance athletic performance through stabilization of the jaw and neck muscles, altering posture, body alignment, balance, strength and gait.
(D’Ermes V, et al. Influence of Occlusal Splint on Competitive Athletes Performances. Annali di Stomatologia 2012; III (3/4): 113-118).