Use of Botox® in Dentistry

Use of Botox® in Dentistry

The first thing that pops into our heads when we hear the word BOTOX® is wrinkles. That is, getting rid of them, which is certainly one of the well-known uses of Botox since it was approved in 2002 for cosmetic use under the name BOTOX® cosmetic. It is considered minimally invasive and is widely utilized.

What is not as well known are other uses of this FDA approved therapeutic injectable as a tool for our dentists to assist our patients who experience numerous facial muscle disorders such as Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ), or disorder (TMD), migraine headaches and Bruxism (grinding or clenching teeth). And, while Botox is considered the most popular injectable to help us look more youthful by reducing the lines that appear as we age, or even lines caused by daily stresses, at Colony Square Dental Associates we consider it as another key component to assist in increasing patient comfort, all the while helping protect teeth from damage.

How does Botox work?

Botox, a botulinum toxin, the type of neurotoxin from which Botox is derived, relaxes muscles at the injection site. Think of tightening your jaw muscles and clenching your teeth consciously, or raising your eyebrows as a sign of surprise … you are controlling those muscles and can relax them. However, there are times when these muscles tighten, contract, spasm and the patient has no control over these muscle movements. Some patients, for whom stress causes them to contract muscles, it’s a habit, like biting ones nails. Habits, when the patient is aware and is trained to do so, can be broken. However, for many, muscle contractions, occurring while asleep or awake, cannot be controlled. Botox blocks the nerves that tell the muscles to contract at the injection site serving to reduce or eliminate the muscle pain.

When should I see a dentist for Botox?

While there are numerous Botox providers, seeking care for the administration of Botox from Dr. Mira Diora, a dentist specifically trained in accordance with the Georgia Board of Dentistry (GBD) requirements, offers patients a unique advantage. She is especially knowledgeable about the structure of your teeth, along with supporting and surrounding facial bones, the muscles that control your jaws, as well as all other facial muscles. Under her guidance you can be confident that all of these factors will be taken into consideration when she evaluates your needs and designs a custom treatment plan.

What are the benefits of Botox for oral healthcare?

  • As anyone who experiences migraine headaches, TMD / TMJ, or bruxism knows, these conditions can impact the quality of ones life. Once any underlying medical condition is ruled out, those with episodic migraines can suffer for hours to days. For some, oral medication for the rare migraine occurrence is sufficient. However, for others, who may suffer more frequently and find that the oral medication does not work quickly enough, or they do not want to take medication prophylactically or they experience side effects of oral medications, Botox can help prevent migraine symptoms for months at a time.
  • For those who experience jaw pain that does not resolve within a week or so of taking Acetaminophen, such as Tylenol or an Ibuprofen, eating soft foods, and applying warm compresses, ongoing TMD / TMJ can not only prevent you from eating favorite foods, but also can trigger a headache.
  • Botox injections also help prevent the symptoms caused by bruxism. When muscle contractions are minimized, you are applying less pressure to the teeth should you grind your teeth. Not only can Botox help alleviate the discomfort created in your TMJ, but also by lessening the force on ones teeth, it can help to protect your teeth from chipping, fracturing and the wear of the teeth’s chewing surfaces that increases the potential for decay to develop in weakened teeth.

Botox FAQs:

  • Is Botox FDA approved?

The FDA initially approved Botox in 1989 for therapeutic use to address muscle contractions that resulted in disorders of the eyes. By 2010, the FDA approved injectable Botox to treat migraines. And, in 2020, its approval was broadened to include treatment of Cervical Dystonia, muscle contractions of the neck and shoulders.

  • How is Botox administered

Botox is an injectable medication, utilizing a very thin needle

  • Is anesthesia utilized for Botox injections? 

As the needle is so thin, feeling like a small pinch, an injectable anesthetic is not necessary. If topical numbing is needed, an ice pack us used.  

  • How long does it take to have Botox injections?

           The actual injections take about 10 minutes

  • Will control of my facial expressions be impacted?

           No, the muscle(s) that relax are targeted and only at the site of the injection – Smile away!

  • Are there potential side effects of Botox? 

          As with all treatment procedures, there is the possibility of side effects that are typically transitory, resolving in a few hours to a few days after injection. Dr. Diora will review these with you and discuss any potential for allergic response.

  • Do I have to repeat Botox injections? 

          Yes, the results of injectable Botox do not last indefinitely. While each patient’s response will differ, typically, to maintain the result provided the patient will repeat the procedure every 3 to 4 months.

  • If I don’t return for follow up Botox injections, when it wears off will my face return to same appearance as prior to the injection?   

          Yes, Botox does not permanently change the facial muscles; once the medication is no longer active, all muscle function, and any lines created by that muscle function, such as wrinkles, will return.

At Colony Square Dental Associates we partner with each patient, providing diagnoses and treatment solutions based upon your unique needs. Whether it is routine dental hygiene care, restoration or replacement of teeth in need, cosmetic enhancements to improve the appearance of your smile or to help reduce areas of facial pain, our goal is to ensure you are offered the opportunities available to optimize your oral health, and to obtain the smile you desire, give us a call at 404-874-6464. We’d be happy to schedule a consultation.

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