Botox® Injection Therapy
Botox® Injection Therapy
What do you think of when you think of Botox®? Does your mind quickly conjure images of Silicon Valley or of faces so smooth they struggle to convey emotion? Maybe you recall episodes of reality TV centered around those who are dangerously obsessed with achieving the pinnacle of human beauty through plastic surgeries and other extreme means. If this is you – you’re in good company. Knowledge of Botox® injection therapy for medical therapy has nearly been eclipsed by cosmetic stereotypes, but the truth is that there are many functional benefits to realize with Botox® injection therapy and your dentist uses it regularly for a variety of purposes.
What is Botox®?
If you have children, you know that honey shouldn’t pass a baby’s lips until they are a minimum of one year old. This is to prevent the possibility of botulism, a serious and potentially fatal form of food poisoning. Honey aside, there are many other foods that have been found to contain the clostridium botulinum bacteria, which leads to botulism, including vegetable preserves, fish and sausages.
In large doses, botulism onset causes blurred vision, extreme weakness and lethargy, and slurring or difficulty speaking and breathing. These symptoms are caused by the bacteria’s ability to block nerve function for between two and eight weeks. Who would think that a serious illness like that could benefit doctors and their clients?
Scientists studied the nerve blocking effects of this toxin and its effectiveness on chronically tight muscles and found that small, purified amounts of the botulism toxin can result in relaxing of overactive muscles and a reduction in associated symptoms.
Whether you visit the Dentist every six month as recommended, or if you haven’t been to the Dentist in years, we want to help you gain and maintain good oral health.
Botox® as a Treatment
Many requests for Botox® treatment are made in the interest of improving patient quality of life. In these cases, Botox® serum is used to interrupt chronic activation of implicated muscles in order to reduce the pain associated with the muscle’s tension. For example, a patient who suffers frequent migraines could be seen by a dentist to assess whether they are a candidate for Botox®, which would target muscles in the head and neck to release. Many migraine sufferers have sought various treatments for their condition and continue to use Botox® injections as part of their regular treatment program.
Other uses for Botox® include loosening the muscles in the jaw in order to decrease grinding and clenching of the teeth at night (a condition known as bruxism). Chronic grinding or clenching of the teeth at night can wreak havoc on the enamel, wear teeth down and may even cause them to fracture or break. This condition often results in recurring headaches, ear pain and shoulder tightness for sufferers. Botox® may be used independently to treat bruxism or as part of a multi-faceted approach including medication and/or a night guard appliance.
When we refer to Botox® as a cosmetic injection, we are talking about using these injections electively in order to improve the appearance of the face. Cosmetically, Botox® is useful to reduce visible wrinkles by inhibiting the muscle’s ability to contract. As collagen decreases as we age, our skin begins to look thinner and fullness is lost. When this occurs, injections can be made to stop the ‘pulling’ by muscles. An excellent example is a frown line which is very often treated successfully with Botox®. The line itself does not impact the function of the face or result in symptoms, but the patient may not appreciate its esthetic. With a very fine needle, your dentist can apply a small amount of the serum to the muscles that are contracting to create that line, or crease, in the brow.
Cosmetic Botox® can also be used to treat excessive sweating which may cause sensory discomfort and embarrassment when uncontrolled. In this case, the needle is used to deposit Botox® at a number of injection sites around the affected area.
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Who Should You See?
If you have considered Botox® injections, you may already know that a number of professionals offer Botox® injections aside from dentists. We recommend, however, choosing a dentist to administer your injections. This is because, not only does your dentist have the skills to perform these injections, but their environment is kept perpetually clean and sanitized. Injecting a syringe into the face is serious business, so ensure that you consider the environment of your provider when making your decision.
If your concerns are related to the head and neck, your dentist is able to deliver the treatment with pinpoint accuracy due to their extensive knowledge of the anatomy of these areas. Seeing a dentist increases the chances of your treatment being successful.
The onset of improvement typically begins three days after the injections are made, and effectiveness is at its highest at the two-week mark. Following that, the treatment is usually readministered at or around four months post-injection. You can expect some redness around the injection site, which subsides within 30 minutes.
How to Get Started
If you think that you could benefit from this treatment, discuss the possibility with your dentist at your next visit. Like teeth whitening, Botox® is a simple but effective treatment that provides an improvement in the way that patients feel about themselves. Botox® is a brief procedure which can be completed in under ten minutes and is often added to routine dental appointments to save you another trip to the clinic.
If you have questions about these or other services offered by our general dentist, contact our clinic today.