Dermal fillers are no longer an exclusive luxury only available to celebrities and movie stars. In fact, dermal fillers like Botox and Juvederm are the fastest growing cosmetic trend in the past ten years. When looking your best can lead to feeling your greatest, minimally invasive cosmetic procedures like Botox to smooth fine lines and wrinkles are a great option. You no longer have to deal with the sometimes intimidating idea of going to a plastic surgery office to have access to these dermal fillers, however. Many dental practices now offer it, too! Dentists are healthcare practitioners and are trained in injectable substances like Novocain and others which makes them perfectly capable of injecting Botox correctly and effectively.
According to The American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, there have been nearly 2.5 million Botox procedures performed in North America since 2008. 92% of the people receiving Botox injections were women, making this dermal filler the most in demand for women ranging from ages 25 to 60 and older. These statistics should come as no surprise as the societal expectation for women to remain youthful looking has become more rampant than ever with the prevalence of photo editing, camera filters, and other ways facial images are manipulated in the media. Despite these pressures, many women are turning to Botox for themselves, rather than for others. Making small tweaks to the aging process with the help of injectable dermal fillers are helping boost people’s confidence and improve their overall physical appearance.
How Does It Work?
The science behind Botox, or botulinum toxin, is fascinating. This purified protein is injected into the facial muscles where it attaches itself to nerve endings of the motor muscles in the face. After about 2 – 10 days, the nerve transmitters that are in charge of moving facial muscles like frowns and furrowing brows are interrupted, and the muscles are unable to contract. By doing this, the appearance of wrinkles is lessened, and the skin will look smooth and beautiful. Botox usually lasts about 3 to 4 months depending on the amount injected, the metabolic activity of the patient, and various lifestyle choices that are made that could cause Botox to not last as long. Once wrinkles begin to reappear, the patient will need retreatment.
Safety of Botox
Unlike invasive and often dangerous procedures like brow lifts, Botox provides a safe and temporary treatment to minimize wrinkles. The safety record of this dermal injectable speaks for itself! Many people are naturally concerned with potential risks that come with injecting Botox and other dermal fillers. The research and safety behind Botox are well-researched and established with millions of injections delivered each year. Most common dermal fillers contain hyaluronic acid, which is a naturally occurring substance in the human body and once the effects of Botox wear off, they are gone without any kind of long-lasting effects on the patient. Injection appointments take anywhere from 5 – 10 minutes depending on the number of units used. Both topical and injected numbing can be applied depending on the practitioner’s discretion and the patient’s preference.
Other Important Uses
Botox and other dermal fillers can be used to beautify and lessen the appearance of wrinkles, but it also has important clinical uses, especially in dentistry. People who suffer from TMJ and migraines can greatly benefit from Botox use, as it can minimize facial pain. TMJ is a very painful condition that affects the jaw joint and muscles in control of movement. It can be caused by genetics, injuries, or a combination of reasons, including arthritis. By injecting these jaw muscles with Botox, people can alleviate the sometimes excruciating pain that comes with TMJ with a minimally invasive procedure instead of going through complicated surgeries.
There are other dental uses for Botox that can range anywhere from helping patients adjust to their new dentures, to reasons like dental aesthetics. There are some people who benefit from small injections of Botox to high lip line cases. Instead of having surgery to correct high lip lines, Botox can be used to inhibit the raising of the lip higher than the gum line, while still allowing the patient to drink, pucker, smile, and speak without any issues. This is a common yet less talked about procedure that has helped change the lives and smiles of many patients that deal with high lip lines which were previously insecure about their teeth, mouths, and smiles.
Botox in Dentistry
While fillers have traditionally only been available at plastic surgeon offices, the prevalence of dentists performing these injections is becoming more and more commonplace, and for a good reason. Every dentist has been trained in facial aesthetics, and the intricate way injections are to be done on the face. This makes them ideal for Botox training to help make it more available to patients who may be interested in fillers but don’t want to see a plastic surgeon. About 10% of dentists have done Botox training successfully and proudly provide the procedure in their offices. With the proper training in dermal filler therapy and their previous knowledge of facial anatomy from dental school, dentists are easily able to perfect the procedure.
When it comes to facial aesthetics, dentists may even have an edge on other plastic surgeons that specialize in more body-centered procedures. After all, dentists work on patients every day looking to perfect people’s proper rations of lips to teeth, proper phonetics, and smile proportions on the human face. Dentists might just be one of the best medical practitioners to work with dermal and facial fillers because of their extensive knowledge of facial muscles, physiology, skeletal structures, and the vascular and nervous system of the face.
If you’ve been curious about Botox or debating whether or not to inquire, don’t hold off any longer. This procedure has become the most common temporary way to improve the look of aging skin without any invasiveness or pain. Ask your dentist if they perform Botox injections at their office and whether they think it’s the right kind of filler for you.