When you hear the word Botox, chances are you think of a cosmetic treatment to smooth out wrinkles. That’s a common use for this drug. Its dental applications are less well known, but not less important.
Before Botox became a household name as a beauty product it was being used in dental practices to:
- Relieve the pain of TMJ disorders, which affect the movement of your jaw
- Treat bruxism, or tooth grinding or clenching
- Help patients adjust to their dentures
- Control facial tremors and tics
- Treat high lip line cases using minimally invasive techniques instead of surgery
Botox is a toxin that is a form of purified protein. When injected into the muscle, it temporarily immobilizes it. That’s enough to smooth wrinkles, eliminate spasms and reduce the effects of many of the ailments listed above. The paralyzing effect lasts anywhere from three to 12 months.
More dentists have started to administer Botox, including cosmetic use. After all, dentists are the health professionals who are well versed in the muscles and anatomy of the face, including oral and perioral areas. Dentists also know how to administer dental anesthesia, which is often quicker and more comfortable than the topical anesthetic used by aestheticians in cosmetic procedures.
However, not every dentist is equipped to administer Botox. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) notes that in order to do so, dentists must have “appropriate, verifiable training and experience.”1 That’s why I chose to receive my training at the American Academy of Facial Esthetics, so we could administer it here in Pleasantville, N.J.
Botox is not for everyone. You should not receive treatment if you’re pregnant or lactating, sick with the flu or another infection, or have a neurological disorder. As with any medical procedure, there also are side effects to consider.
If you’re considering Botox treatment, talk to a dental professional who is trained in facial fillers. Dental offices, like ours, are always open for questions. Contact us or call us at (609) 641-1462 for a consultation.
Jay Rosenberg, D.D.S. received his Doctorate of Dental Surgery from the University of Maryland, where he also completed a residency in Advanced General Dentistry. Dr. Rosenberg was trained in administration of Botox and facial filler treatments at the American Academy of Facial Esthetics. For the past 24 years, he has been a partner in the dental practice, Dr. Goodman & Rosenberg General Dentistry, based in Pleasantville, N.J.