Botox, or a similar alternative called Xeomin, are Health Canada approved treatments. It is used by dentist for both the cosmetic treatment of wrinkles and as an alternative for the treatment of Temporal Mandibular Disorder, or TMD.
Research conducted by The American Society of Plastic Surgeons in 2013 shows that Botox treatment, or Botulinum therapy, are trending upward. Injections increased 3 percent, to 6.3 million in North America the year of the study. If you are considering it as a treatment option, your dentist may be the ideal provider to consider.
Here are some answers to some commonly asked questions about the subject.
What does a treatment involve?
Botox treatment is categorized by medical professionals as minimally invasive. The entire treatment can be completed within ten to fifteen minutes. An injection utilizing a very fine needle means that discomfort is minimized and that there is no need for any anesthetic.
Soon after the treatment the patient is fine to return to work or carry on with daily activities.
How does it work?
Botox is a neuromodulator – a drug which reacts with muscles tissue to temporarily paralyse or reduce the contraction and intensity of muscles, temporarily reducing the appearance of wrinkles or reducing pain caused by overly tensed face and jaw muscles.
Is it safe?
Some patients are not appropriate candidates for Botulinum therapy. These include: pregnant, actively nursing, those with pre-existing neuromuscular conditions, or patients with breathing disorders such as asthma or emphysema.
It is also critical that a patient divulge their dentist of all prescription medicines, vitamins, and supplements being taken to avoid harmful interaction between active ingredients.
What are the risks and potential side effects?
The primary risks and side effects are related to the actual injection procedure – just as there would be with any injection. These included the risks of bruising, bleeding or infection. The main side effects occur when improper Botox dosing happens. These effects can include a droopy eyebrow or eyelid. These situations usually only last two weeks or so and are easily avoided with proper understanding of the anatomy as well as effective training of the injection technique.
How long does it take to see the results?
Some patience is required after Botulinum therapy, it is not immediate! Since it works by reducing muscle contractions at the site of the injection, pre-existing wrinkles will still be visible. There should be a visible smoothing effect within twenty-five days of the treatment. Botox can last up to sixteen weeks and the average interval between treatments is normally about three months.
Botulinum therapy is a conservative, minimally invasive treatment that can expand cosmetic as well as therapeutic options for the benefit of dental patients. Dentists have a precise knowledge and understanding of the functional anatomy of the facial muscles that is necessary to correctly use Botox. In addition to cosmetic treatments, botulinum toxins may in someday play a significant role in the management of a wide variety of medical conditions such as TMD.