Botox can optimize the cosmetic appeal of dental implant surgery, expert sayst

By: American Academy of Implant Dentistry December 27, 2010

BOSTON: A significant majority of dental implant patients are older with facial aging and their dentists may need to consider the benefits of rejuvenation techniques, such as Botox, for maximizing the cosmetic outcomes of the procedure, according to a leading cosmetic surgeon speaking at the American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AADI) annual meeting.

Joseph Niamtu III, DMD, is an oral and maxillofacial surgeon who transformed the main focus of his Virgina-based practice to cosmetic facial surgery. He told the AAID audience that for many dental implant patients, restoring facial volume is as critical as the dental restoration for achieving optimal cosmetic outcomes.

"The face is the frame for cosmetic dentistry, and dentists should consider the benefits of facial volume restoration when performing implant surgery on older patients with facial aging," Niamtu said. "The standard today requires consideration of facial structures and volume restoration to maximize patient satisfaction with cosmetic and restorative dental procedures."

Naimtu said all states allow dentists to give Botox injections for purely dental reasons, such as relieving temporomanidibular (TMJ) pain but not for cosmetic purposes. He added that approximately 8 percent of dentists in North America now provide Botox cosmetic treatment for patients, and the number is growing as state dental boards lobby to allow dentists to use the agent for cosmetic dentistry.

Most dentists, however, still are not aware of the considerable benefits Botox offers for cosmetic dental treatment, according to Niamtu.

"How often do we see perfectly restored teeth framed by thin or wrinkled lips?" he asked. "Soft tissues around the mouth are just as important as nicely restored white teeth in creating an attractive smile."

Also, for older dental implant patients with facial aging, the corners of the mouth begin to turn down and wrinkles appear around the lips.

Niamtu advised that Botox can be used by dentists to relax affected muscles to raise mouth corners and smooth wrinkles to assure successful and satisfying outcomes.

Niamtu said Botox therapy is a natural and logical expansion for dental practices. "Dentists have as much training and knowledge in the oral and maxillofacial area as dermatologists and other providers, so they, with proper training, can be as proficient in administering Botox, Restylane and other filling agents. This clearly is the new future for the achieving optimal esthetic outcomes in the delivery of cosmetic and restorative dental care."

Based in Chicago, AAID is the first organization dedicated to maintaining the highest standards of implant dentistry by supporting research and education to advance comprehensive implant knowledge.