You had Botox…where?!
It may seem unusual to see your dentist for Botox treatment, but, actually, it makes perfect sense!
Botox has been used as a muscle relaxant in both clinical and cosmetic (treatment) for two decades. A purified protein derivative of the botulism toxin called Botulinum A, Botox has long been recognized as a safe way to temporarily diminish muscle contractions. It only affects the motor nerves of targeted muscles, and does not leave any residual toxin in the body. The effects of treatment typically last for three to five months. While this has been widely embraced as a way to counteract the signs of aging, it is also an effective tool for relief of physical ailments, such as migraine, tooth grinding and facial pain.
But…at the Dentist’s Office?
Dentists have advanced, constantly-updated training in maxillofacial physiology. We are experts in facial anatomy, and have comprehensive knowledge of the pharmaceuticals and anesthetics used in oral and facial treatments. Because our expertise is put it into practical use on a daily basis, we are ideally qualified to perform the procedures in a safe and confident manner.
Most commonly, patients turn to us to treat aesthetically problematic areas, such as crow’s feet, forehead wrinkles and lip lines. The results are smoother-appearing skin and brighter, younger features, which can significantly improve self-confidence!
Clinically, dentists utilize Botox in the treatment of bruxism and TMJ (severe tooth grinding and jaw clenching). These ailments are caused by the jaw muscles over-firing, and can result in chronic pain and unnecessary wear on the teeth. As well, Botox can be used in conjunction with traditional dentistry procedures such as correcting “gummy” smiles or helping patients adjust to new dentures. It’s also used to alleviate chronic migraines.
What to Expect
Botox treatments are not painful! Depending on the region being treated, your dental professional will deliver a number of small, localized injections of the protein solution into the muscle. Results can take up to a week to appear. While the treatments only take a few minutes, patients will need to factor in recovery time. After treatment, patients need to remain upright for about 4 hours, and then avoid activities that might affect skin temperature (sunlight, exercise, sweat, alcohol) for a further 24 hours. Keeping the area clean during this time (no makeup!) will help prevent infection. Rarely, patients experience brief discomfort such as flu-like symptoms or tenderness immediately following the procedure. You should not receive Botox treatments if you are sick, pregnant or nursing.
There is nothing to fear with a Botox. It is such a popular procedure because it is proven, safe and effective. Turning to your dentist for this treatment ensures a highly trained, professional treatment, and results you (and we!) can be proud of.
If you’d like to discuss whether Botox is an option for you, contact Dr. Koning at Sunnyside Dental, and get started.