Botulinum toxin, better known as Botox, is an injectable neurotoxin that is most associated as a cosmetic treatment for softening frown lines and smoothing wrinkles. However, when administered correctly, Botox can provide a number of health benefits in addition to its aesthetic ones. In dentistry alone, Botox can be used to complement a smile or as a therapeutic agent to treat a variety of oral concerns or conditions.
Botox Is Now An Integral Part of Dentistry
Botox is one of the most sought after cosmetic treatments available. While Botox was originally identified as a solution for various facial, but non-dental, applications, it’s now a common service available through general dentistry. Dentists understand the mouth and the maxillofacial structures better than any other medical professionals and have found Botox to be a valuable tool for a number of applications including:
- Restorative Dentistry
- Fixed and removable prosthodontics
- Orofacial pain treatment
- TMJ treatment
- Implant dentistry
- Esthetic dental cases
Dentists most often recommend Botox injections into the temporalis and masseter muscles in order to treat orofacial pain, TMJ, and bruxism (teeth grinding). It’s also useful for adjunct therapy in esthetic dentistry cases, lip augmentation, denture patients who are having a hard time acclimating to new dentures, and orthodontic cases in which the facial muscles need to be retrained.
How Does Botox Work?
As a medical treatment, Botox is injected into facial muscles affected by pain or discomfort and then works as a pain reliever would. Botox is injected into overactive muscles binding to cramped muscle fibers and subsequently causing those muscles to relax, decrease activity and essentially weaken for an extended period. Botox will effectively block chemical signals indicating pain to induce a temporary paralysis of the designated muscles. Neurotransmitters are then prevented from reaching nerve endings near the head, neck, or jaw.
Botox is a quick and effective treatment. Patients commonly report noticeable improvement within the first few days of treatment and measurable relief from pain within the first couple weeks. While patients will likely notice a small improvement following the first treatment, Botox will be most effective through a consistent number of treatment cycles. Patients often notice the greatest effect after the second or third treatment, with each treatment lasting for approximately 10-12 weeks.
Dentists Are The Best Choice For Administering Botox
Among medical professionals, dentists are by far the most skilled and knowledgeable in the oral and maxillofacial areas (the face from the chin to forehead) making them an ideal choice for administering Botox injections for facial aesthetics and facial pain treatment. The American Academy of Facial Esthetics (AAFE) has even reported that dentists consistently outperform plastic surgeons, physicians, physicians’ assistants, and nurse practitioners in the application of injectable treatments such as Botox.
Dr. Barton H. Foutz of Foutz Family Dentistry in Henderson, Nevada is highly trained in head and neck musculature and has extensive knowledge and experience administering injections in and around the face. For years, Dr. Foutz has provided patients with therapeutic Botox injections that have provided invaluable relief from migraines, chronic headaches, TMJ tension, and jaw pain. For more information about Botox in dentistry, call our office today at (702) 792-5929 to set up a consultation.
Dr. Barton H. Foutz, DDS
2510 Wigwam Parkway Suite 100 Henderson, NV 89074