Botox in Dentistry

October 06, 2009

While Botox is usually associated with Cosmetic surgeons, dentists do use this product, as well. In some cases, the use may be cosmetic but, in others, its application is therapeutic. Long before Botox came to the forefront of the public mind because of its association with removing lines on the face and other signs of aging, it was used to treat conditions which were far more than cosmetic. It has been used to treat spasms and other conditions which are oftentimes painful and debilitating. Dentists use it for a range of conditions, cosmetic and otherwise.

While most individuals associate their dentist with their teeth—and reasonably so, given their appellation—dentists are also experts in the head, face and neck. They can offer injections that can help to erase the lines around the mouth that inevitably come with age. These injections usually remain effective for about 6 months which, of course, is about the amount of time before one should be considering visiting their dentist for a checkup! Dentists have all the requisite training to offer these injections in a safe atmosphere and, because they are bona fide medical professionals, this is not outside the scope of their expertise by any stretch.

Dentists can also offer Botox to treat certain conditions. TMJ, for instance, is sometimes treated using this toxin. The muscle-arresting effects of Botox can bring relief from the sometimes nearly unbearable pain that accompanies this condition. There are other dental conditions that are sometimes treated in this way, as well, and one’s dentist may recommend the usage of this substance if one should show up to the office presenting one of these conditions. The cosmetic benefits may be a side effect, in these cases, but usually one that is nothing but welcome from the perspective of the patient.

Botox does come with some caveats and may not be appropriate for all patients. A dentist will consult with a patient before providing this therapy and use their medical knowledge to make certain that it will be safe and effective for the patient in question. If one wants unsightly lines removed from around their mouth and jaw, there would be hardly any one as qualified to address that need as a dentist. Used to treat other, non-cosmetic conditions, it represents another tool in the arsenal of treatments that dentists offer their patients. Most dentists who offer these treatments advertise as much.