Botox? In a Dental Office?

by Tiffany Nelson | 26 April, 2018

Woman holding face with forest background

A question we get a lot is “Why, as a Dental office, are you doing Botox?” There are several good reasons for this. One is that it has many valuable benefits in the dental world. Dentists and Hygienists are highly educated in head and neck anatomy and physiology. We are very familiar with all of the muscles in the head and neck, and we know what makes them work. We are very comfortable giving injections and are licensed practitioners. Dentists and Hygienists have an education and degree of two or more years. Some clinicians may have as little as 6 months of training.

Botox is a Botulinum toxin. It’s a purified protein called a biologic. Biologics are simply made from living things. Botox is used to reduce the contraction of muscles and will last in the muscle usually up to 3-4 months. Botox is now accepted and used off label for cosmetics, overactive bladder, excessive sweating, migraines, eye disorders, muscle stiffness/spasms, hand tremors, cerebral-palsy, headaches, and TMJ/clenching/grinding.

Botox is well suited in treating conditions outside of cosmetics in the dental field. The masseter muscle is a large muscle on the side of the face that is engaged in clenching and grinding. Botox can be injected into this muscle to reduce the ability to contract the muscle, thus eliminating clenching and grinding, tooth wear and breakage, headaches, and the need for a bulky mouth guard. However, one will want to consult his or her Dentist/Physician first and make sure clenching and grinding is not a result of another disorder, such as sleep apnea, before proceeding with Botox.

Botox is also very beneficial for alleviating contractions that can lead to painful headaches from the muscles on the forehead, side of the head, back of the neck, and around the eyes. Botox has been approved for the treatment of migraines, but insurance rarely helps with these costs.

Botox for cosmetic reasons is still widely popular. However, the belief that Botox is for older people with wrinkles is inaccurate. One should ultimately start cosmetic Botox in the 20’s or 30’s at the onset of fine lines. Once collagen breaks down, wrinkles get deep, and our bodies slow down the production of hyaluronic acid for repair, it can be very challenging or sometimes impossible to reverse the damage and signs of aging. Botox cosmetics is best done as a preventative measure rather than major reparative aspect. Schedule your consult today to see if you’re a candidate!