Botox® has grown in popularity over the 21 years it has been on the market, making it one of the most popular methods of reducing frown lines between the eyes and smoothing facial wrinkles. In fact, Botox® injections have become the most common minimally invasive cosmetic procedure in North America, with nearly 2.5 million procedures done in 2008 alone. Cosmetic doctors have even incorporated Botox® in dentistry as a provided service.
How does Botox® work?
Botox®, or botulinum toxin, is a purified protein that, when injected into the muscles by your cosmetic doctor, will attach itself to the nerve endings of motor muscles. This attachment affects the nerve transmission to these muscles, ceasing the dynamic motion that causes wrinkles in the skin. Approximately three to ten days after treatment, patients will see the skin above these muscles become smoother. Botox® is designed to last for approximately three to four months, depending on the metabolic activity of the patient and certain lifestyle choices. It has also been effective in reducing chronic headaches when other conventional therapies are unsuccessful.
Botox® in Dentistry
While most Botox® injections are used to smooth the skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, dental professionals have found other innovative uses for Botox in their practices. Many cosmetic doctors are now using Botox® as an adjunct therapy in TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders and bruxism cases. Botox® is a muscle relaxer, so when it is injected into muscles affected by temporomandibular joint and facial pain, the intensity of muscle contractions will be significantly reduced. When these muscle contractions are reduced, the pain associated with TMJ disorders or bruxism is also significantly reduced. Given the successful results of these treatments, Botox® in dentistry is not only cosmetic, but therapeutic.
Botox® in dentistry therapy can also be effective in treating patients with high lip lines. Previous treatments would have required invasive surgical treatments to adjust the gum line to meet the lip line. The procedures needed to improve the appearance of the smile can be aggressive and invasive. With Botox®, cosmetic doctors can now relax the muscles surrounding the lip so that they are weakened and cannot raise as high as before. When done precisely, the patient will maintain full lip competency and will appear to have a lower lip line.
Botox® is also used in adult orthodontics to retrain muscles during orthodontic therapy or in patients who are new to dentures. Botox® in dentistry therapy can improve the health, appearance, and life of patients in countless ways that go beyond the reduction of wrinkles.
Visit your cosmetic doctor today for your Botox® consultation. We can determine if the benefits of Botox® in dentistry could be of help you.