As dentists, we are very familiar with two things: the function of each muscle in the face and giving intra-oral injections. Having the ability to deliver dermal fillers and Botox in a completely painless manner is one of the biggest advantages of getting these procedures done in the dental office. Most patients who have experienced fillers delivered with just topical skin anesthetics say that the level of pain does not warrant the results and would not go through the experience again.
Dermal fillers provide an appearance of fullness at the injection site adding volume to where the body’s natural collagen has been lost, due to the aging process. The most commonly used areas for fillers are, the smile lines (parentheses, deeper folds) marionette lines (corners of the mouth) and lip augmentation. The results are visible immediately and last for up to six months.
Botox was introduced about 20 years ago to reduce frown lines between the eyes, but today the cosmetic application has multiple advantages. Although the most common areas treated are the forehead, between the eyes, corners of the eyes and occasionally the corners of the mouth, Botox can also reduce pain and enhance a patient’s smile. Botox blocks the release of neurotransmitters on the motor nerves that govern movement and prevent them from contracting. Therefore, it can be used as a muscle relaxer to reduce chronic facial pain, teeth grinding and as an alternative to surgical treatment of “gummy smiles” (when the patient raises the upper lip too high while smiling, so pink gum tissue shows). Dentists have been using Botox to treat dental problems like temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved its use for treatment of chronic migraines in 2008.
Some dentists want to take it a step further and use it for aesthetic purposes, too. We are finding that are clients are very delighted with the natural looking out come that we are able to provide to them. Our office and team have been able to alleviate many pre-conceived notions that may give rise to fear with people that have not tried Botox, because they have been lead to believe that it is bad for you. When used correctly and completed by a trained injector, Botox can have a profound effect on pain management and improved self esteem!