IS THERE A PLACE FOR BOTOX® IN DENTISTRY?adminc
When people think of Botox®, they often imagine the comical frozen forehead scenario as many Hollywood movies depict. And if you’ve ever seen Christmas with the Kranks, you’ll know what we’re talking about. But most people don’t automatically picture the use of botulinum toxin, the technical name for Botox®, in dentistry.
Surprisingly, Botox® does have a place in your dental practitioner’s office. In fact, it can alleviate many orofacial conditions. But unfortunately, Botox® is less known for its role in therapeutic treatment. However, for over 10 years, Botox® has been approved for alleviating not just orofacial conditions, but also crossed eyes and muscle spasms involving the eyelid. How does it do this?
Let’s take a closer look at why and how Botox® and dentistry mix.
Botox® is minimally invasive. There is no intense procedure or recovery time required – unlike other dental treatments. It can help manage and treat temporomandibular disorders, clenching, masseter hypertrophy, bruxism, high lip lines, nasolabial folds, radial lip lines, black triangles between the teeth, and more.
How does it treat all these conditions? When Botox® is injected, it inhibits acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is the neurotransmitter that causes muscle tissue to contract. When the muscle can no longer contract, the muscle relaxes and thus, stops any clenching or hypertrophy of certain muscle groups. Botox usually works within a few hours and lasts for 3-4 months. At this point, another treatment of Botox® must be completed for continued effects.
But let’s take a look at the common uses of Botox® in dentistry practices in more detail. As a dental practitioner, is Botox® training something you should add to your toolkit?
Temporomandibular Joint Disorders
Temporomandibular joint disorders refer to any condition that affects jaw function, including headaches, jaw clicking, neck pain, and facial pain. It is sometimes caused by bruxism, which is the grinding of one’s teeth – often during sleep. Individuals with temporomandibular joint disorders frequently get referred to a dental specialist or oral surgeon. In the past, temporomandibular joint disorders have conventionally been treated with appliances or oral surgery. These procedures often end up with a high degree of discomfort for patients and frequently cost the patient a considerable amount of time and money.
In order to better serve your patients with temporomandibular joint disorders, Botox® offers an easy and simple alternative. Botox® provides the necessary muscle relaxation to prevent incidences of jaw clenching and to ease facial pain. At the same time, it allows enough muscle activation for normal functioning, such as chewing. And again, it has a limited recovery time and offers your patient almost zero discomforts.
Black Triangles & Lip Deformities
These black triangles may result from bone loss, teeth movement, or from the recession of the gums (which can also have other and more serious consequences at the root of the tooth). In addition, food can accumulate in these triangles which may also create other oral health problems involving the teeth and gums. Various dental practices have seen success with the use of dermal fillers and botox when it comes to black triangles, as well as lip deformities causing specifically gummy smiles.
Masseter Hypertrophy & Jaw Clenching
The masseter is the main chewing muscle. Masseter hypertrophy is a condition where a person has enlarged masseter muscles on either side of their face. It may occur on just one side or both. And many jaw clenchers experience this as a side effect of too much clenching. It may make the face look swollen. It may also cause chronic pain and soreness. Botox® reduces this hyperactivity of the masseter muscle. In other words, it cuts the muscle some slack giving it ample time to relax and thus, shrink. In fact, research shows that some individuals have reported masseter shrinkage via Botox® of almost 36%.
Botox® acts in a similar fashion when it comes to uncontrollable muscle spasms in the face. It, again, works to decrease the hyperactivity and spasticity of these muscles.
Botox® has further shown various potential and use in cases including angular cheilitis, facial pain with trigger points, gummy smiles, other facial muscle hypertrophy, trismus, and headaches.
Are There Downsides to Botox Use?
As with any procedure, Botox® does include a list of cautions – as you would be made well-aware of through CBAM’s 2-day Botox Training Program for Dentists. A resistance to Botox® may develop over time, which may yield the treatment not useful in further sessions. In these cases, other and more invasive options may have to be sought out in the end. However, there are different forms of Botox®, so this problem may be resolved through the use of a different type.
If the toxin spread in the body, negative health effects may incur, such as muscle weakness, urinary incontinence, difficulty breathing, and trouble swallowing.
Yet, this is why it’s so crucial to ensure you are properly qualified and trained before adding Botox® or advertising Botox® as a treatment method in your dentistry practice. CBAM offers one of the best certification programs in the country. We ensure you get the training you require to deliver therapeutic Botox® treatments to your patients in a safe and effective manner.
Get your Botox® training today, and open the doors to opportunities that your dental practice has yet to discover.