As specialists in facial anatomy and esthetics, an increasing number of dentists are taking their skills into the world of Botox. Often associated just with appearances, Botox can be equally as therapeutic as cosmetic. Botox is a purified protein that irons out wrinkles by attaching to a muscle and preventing it from contracting. (Muscle contracting away from the skin is what causes wrinkles.) This has thus far been its most popular use in cosmetic facial treatments.
What most patients don’t know is this same function can relax other muscles in the jaw and face for pain relief or support of orthodontics. Botox is applied via injection into the facial muscles; a method in which dentists are already highly skilled. The effects of Botox last three to four months, which means it needs to be refreshed and reapplied for continued results.
Being an injection, Botox is minimally invasive and a more conservative, more affordable alternative to surgery. For example, in the case of a high lip line, Botox may be an attractive alternative to a major surgical procedure. The results will not last as long, but the procedure is more affordable and less invasive.
Other uses of Botox in dentistry include pain relief for TMD (temporomandibular joint dysfunction), and reducing teeth grinding (bruxism). These things are accomplished by relaxing the muscles associated with the pain and mouth movement. Or, if orthodontics has re-shaped your mouth and teeth, Botox can maintain those results by keeping the muscles loose and preventing them from moving back into their original position. Someone who wears dentures can also use Botox to keep their gums and mouth soft around the new set of teeth as they get used to them.
Clearly, this treatment has many uses for health, function, and cosmetics!
Additional Benefits of Dental Botox
Of course, Botox was made popular for its simple treatment of fine lines in the skin. For some people, a whole new smile isn’t complete without rejuvenating the skin around the mouth.
Healthy, white teeth are the most important part of an attractive smile. But if you want even more of a renewed look, and you are open to a temporary cosmetic treatment, Botox can really complete the look to frame your smile with a beautiful, youthful glow.
Is Botox Dentistry Safe?
Dentists are already specialists in the mouth, jaw, and face, so they can professionally and expertly use Botox for many reasons. However, not every state allows dentists to use Botox, so you must research regulations in your state.
Some critics of Botox in dentistry are concerned about proper training, but we consider the dentist’s office to be one of the safest options available for receiving this remedy. Side effects are rare but do include overly-droopy skin or muscles and pain at the site of injection.
The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.