Botox injections are one of the most popular cosmetic treatments for people who aim to maintain a more youthful appearance. Along with tooth whitening, botox is a non-surgical procedure that helps many people feel more confident and less self-conscious. In fact, some patients ask us, can dentists do Botox?
The answer is yes! Dentists have joined the ranks of other healthcare professionals who offer Botox services. In fact, our own Dr. Kelly is one of the dentists qualified to perform Botox injections. A more important question to ask is why a patient may prefer receiving their injections from a dentist.
Why Would You Visit a Dentist for Your Botox Injections?
Can dentists do Botox? Yes, long gone are the days when you had to visit a plastic surgeon or dermatologist for Botox. These days so many medical professionals offer Botox including gynecologists and registered nurses. While all of these medical professionals understand human health and how to safely administer treatments, some have areas of specialized expertise that doesn’t make them ideal for facial treatments.
Dentists are experts on facial anatomy and function. Botox is even used by dentists to treat medical concerns like headaches caused by clenching or extracapsular myogenic temporomandibular disorder. While implementing those treatments are a little different than cosmetic Botox injections, qualified dentists know how to administer facial injections with precision.
Dentists regularly perform procedures much more invasive than Botox injections. While performing root canals, fillings and other dental treatments they must use their awareness of facial anatomy including nerves and tiny muscles to treat the patient’s needs without causing unnecessary pain or damage. They also are experienced with injections since many pain management techniques require localized injections.
Finally, many patients do not have an ongoing relationship with a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon. Most do have an ongoing relationship with a trusted dentist who they may see once or twice a year for teeth cleaning, examinations, and possibly even tooth whitening. For many patients, the convenience and safety of receiving Botox injections from their dentist result in a better experience and better results.
How Botox Injections Work and Why They Improve the Appearance of Wrinkles
Cosmetic Botox injections reduce the appearance of facial wrinkles especially “expression” lines like crows feet, forehead wrinkles, and “11s” between the eyes. The provider injects a toxin called onabotulinumtoxinA which temporarily keeps the muscles at the injection site from moving. According to the Mayo Clinic, this toxin is made by the microbe that causes botulism.
Sometimes members of the public incorrectly describe Botox as numbing the muscles. This is not really the case. The Botulinum toxin blocks the motor nerve transmitters at the site so the muscles do not move as much. However, patients usually do not suffer a loss of sensation or numbness. Many clinicians now use Botox to treat a range of medical conditions including chronic headaches, twitching eyes, or overactive bladder.
The effects of Botox injections typically surface three to ten days after the treatment and usually last anywhere from three to four months. During that time, the patient enjoys a smoother appearance due to relaxed muscles around the injection site. In many cases, the effect is subtle, kind of like that refreshed look after a good night’s sleep. Of course, different people have different results.
A Few Things to Consider Before Getting Botox
Each year, professionals deliver millions of Botox injections. Patients have received this common procedure for years, so it is clinically recognized as a relatively safe procedure. However, not every treatment is right for every patient. This is true of any procedure or medication, including Botox. Talk with your medical professional about any risks or contraindications that may apply to you.
The Food and Drug Association (FDA) regulates drugs and medications in the U.S. They published a fact sheet outlining common and rare side effects of Botox. Some of these side effects include:
- Headache or flu-like symptoms.
- Bruising, pain or swelling at the injection site.
- Temporary loss of muscle movement that is a little different than intended.
- Crooked smile or droopy looking eyelid.
- Problems swallowing or breathing.
- Trouble speaking clearly.
- Blurred vision.
- Loss of bladder control.
- The possible spread of toxins is rare when the dose is administered by a medical professional, but it is important to be aware.
According to the FDA, the side effects from Botox may last hours, days, or weeks after an injection. Life-threatening side effects are rare, but be sure to contact your doctor if you experience serious side effects or discomfort. For healthy adults with no contraindications, the more serious side effects are extremely rare in the doses used to treat crow’s feet and other facial wrinkles.
To prevent unnecessary side effects, inform your provider about any health concerns, medications, nutritional supplements, or concerns you have. Some medications and supplements make side effects more likely so sharing this information with your dentist or provider increases the likelihood of a safe, comfortable, and pleasant experience. You are more likely to enjoy good results if you stick with treatments that are appropriate for you. This is why it is crucial to seek advice from qualified medical professionals.
Talk With a Dental or Medical Professional First
If you ever wondered, “Can dentists do Botox?” You now know the answer is yes! In fact, a dentist who becomes qualified to offer Botox injections brings a wealth of knowledge and experience about the face lacking in some other practitioners. In some ways, a dentist may be one of the optimal choices when looking for a professional who offers cosmetic injections like Botox.
Dr. Kelly is qualified to perform Botox. Her knowledge of general and cosmetic dentistry gives her a unique ability to help her patients face the world with a confident smile. If you are a Charlotte-area resident who is interested in learning whether Botox is right for you, contact Southview Dentistry to schedule a consultation with Dr. Kelly.