When you first think about Botox, you probably assume it’s being performed to maintain one’s youthful appearance and rid the face of unsightly wrinkles! This is an accurate assumption, as Botox is the most common cosmetic procedure. In fact, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported over 7.5 million Botox injections in 2018 alone.
Dentists are now using Botox as well!
Botox is a drug made from the toxin called Clostridium botulinum. Bizarrely, while this is the same toxin that can cause fatal food poisoning called botulism, its use as a paralytic was approved by the FDA for cosmetic procedures. In small doses, Botox can also be used to treat excessive blinking, migraines, overactive bladder, and excessive sweating.
Botox is used to block nerve signals that control muscle movement. This decreases the ability of the muscle to contract and softens the skin surrounding the injection site. Results are typically seen after a few hours and a Botox injection can last up to three months!
Because of its ability to block the nerve ends, Botox is now being used in dentistry. A trip to your dentist may include Botox for the following disorders:
Botox use as a wholly cosmetic procedure will likely not exist at a dentist’s office because the first priority of a dentist is oral healthcare. But, because of their extensive training in facial and oral anatomy, health, and function, dentists may be the best qualified to administer Botox.
The use of Botox in the dentist’s chair may be controversial, but it has many benefits as well, both medically and cosmetically. Around 10% of dentists are currently trained to administer Botox injections and the American Dental Association offers Botox training for members!