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Therapeutic Botox ® in Dentistry

What is Botox ®?

Botox is a prescription medicine which contains 100 units of botulinum toxin type A and is a natural, purified protein that is used therapeutically in dentistry to relax your facial muscles.

Indications for Botox ®

Currently Botox ® is approved by the FDA to treat several medical conditions. It is commonly known for its contributions to the cosmetic industry, to reduce facial wrinkles, giving a much younger appearance.

Botox ® and Dentistry

The Dental Act:

Dentistry is the diagnosis or treatment by surgery or other method, of disease and lesions and the correction of human teeth alveolar process, gums, jaws or ASSOCIATED STRUCTURES and such diagnosis or treatment may include all necessary related procedures as well as the use of drugs, anaesthetic agents and physical evaluation.

Therefore dentists who have undergone appropriate training can use Botox to treat muscular pain and headaches due to muscle contractions in the head and face.

Botox is used in dentistry to treat:

·      Myofascial pain

·      Headaches originating from chewing muscles

·      Bruxism (clenching and or grinding)

·      Masseteric hypertrophy (enlarged jaws)

·      Trismus (inability to open jaw)

·      Gummy/asymmetric smiles

Severe, undiagnosed grinding and clenching can lead to:

  • headache and pain
  •  associated muscle hypertrophy (enlargening of the masseters, temporalis)
  • exacerbated by external factors such as fatigue, stress, and emotional extremes
  • damage to your teeth - worn teeth, cracked teeth, broken fillings

Muscle aches (caused by clenching or grinding) are currently managed by dentists wtih the use of: 

·      Splints

·      Occlusal adjustments/rehabilitation

·      Full mouth rehabilitation

·      Orthodontics

·      Surgery

·      Continual use of pain killers

Therapeutic Botox allows pain to be treated much more effectively and simply.

How Does Botox ® Work?

The National Headache foundation classifies approximately 90% of all headaches as muscle contraction headaches.

Since it relaxes part of the facial muscles, they cannot be contracted fully therefore the pain is minimized.

What Does the Treatment Involve?

Botox ® is adminstered using a fine needle into the muscles that are responsible for clenching - these include the massters, the temporalis and the frontalis. An appropriate dose is selected so that the rest of the muscles can still function normally, so chewing is generally unaffected.

No anesthetic is required as there is minimal discomfort - you may feel a slightl sting at the site of injection. The treatment generally takes approximatley 15 minutes for the full face.

The Botox ® treatment takes around 2-4 days to begin taking effect and up to 7 days for the full effect to be felt.

How Long does Botox ® Last?

This varies from individual to individual but usually 3-4 months.  Repeat injections may result in the effects being prolonged.

What Are the Side Effects?

The amounts are carefully measured out appropriately for your case and the injection site is very localized therefore the side effects are minimized.

Possible side effects include but are not limited to:

Headaches, pain, burning/stinging, swelling, redness, bruising around the injection site

Muscle weakness: drooping eyelids, eyebrows, skin tightness, tingling feelings, itching, nausea and flu-like symptoms.

Contraindications to using Botox ®:

·      Pregnancy or breastfeeding

·      If you have had botox in the last 3 months

·      Allergy to albumin

·      Immunization to Botox ®

·      Have an infection, skin condition or muscle weakness at the site of injection

·      Have Eaton-Lambert syndrome, Lou Gehrig’s disease or myasthenia gravis.

How Do I get Started?

Make a consultation appointment with Dr Kim Trinh at Concord Dental Practice.  She will assess your individual case and discuss the appropriate treatment for you.

Therapeutic Botox allows pain to be treated much more effectively and simply.