Botox® gives dentists a minimally invasive way to treat issues like temporomandibular joint disorders, gummy smiles, and teeth grinding. Botox® has been mainly used to address cosmetic issues like fine lines and wrinkles developing in a person’s space. However, the botulinum toxin that makes up these Botox® treatments was developed mainly for medical therapeutic uses.The…
How a Dentist Can Use Botox® to Improve Your Smile
Are you looking for a way to improve your smile with cosmetic dentistry? Botox® is an innovative method that has helped many patients address issues such as a gummy smile, aging lines, and more. This review discusses how a dentist can use Botox to improve your smile long-term.
History of Botox
Botulinum toxin A, or Botox for short, is a substance from the clostridium botulin, which helps relax muscles by blocking nerve signals. Botox and its roles in the medical field have been around for years. The idea of using this toxin as an alternative treatment came to light because of Justinus Kerner, a German physician. Kerner’s exploration of the toxin, which he called sausage poison, showed how it could interrupt signal transmission in a person’s peripheral sympathetic nervous system. He also observed that this phenomenon left the sensory transmission intact.
In 1949, Dr. Arnold Burgen discovered that the toxin blocks neuromuscular transmission. After successful experimentation by various scientists, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved using the Type A strain to treat some diseases and improve appearance.
Five uses of Botox in cosmetic dentistry
Botox can help fix periodontal health concerns, such as TMJ disorder, and for cosmetic dentistry purposes. Five of the most common uses of Botox in cosmetic dentistry include fixing a gummy smile, addressing a down-turned smile, fixing face aging lines and wrinkles, and adjusting to new dentures.
A gummy smile
A gummy smile, also called excessive gingival display, occurs when the gums show more than the patient desires. Traditional treatments of a gummy smile include crown lengthening and a gingivectomy. However, Botox offers a more innovative and often less invasive way of treating a gummy smile. This involves an injection of Botox into the muscles that control lip movement. The Botox relaxes the upper lip and allows less of the gums to show while smiling.
A down-turned smile
The muscle in the lower part of the face is known as a depressor anguli oris. When this muscle is overactive, it can lead to a down-turned smile, making the person look as if they are frowning when they are not. Dentists can inject botox to weaken this muscle, improving a down-turned smile. Of course, every patient is different, and it is important to first consult with a dentist to determine if Botox is right for you.
Fixing face aging lines
Face aging lines often occur around the upper and lower lips. This typically results from natural aging and is sped up by excessive UV light exposure, genetics, smoking, and other factors. When this occurs, Botox injections can diminish or eliminate these aging lines around the lips, improving the patient’s smile.
Enhance your smile
Anyone unhappy about their smile due to imperfections involving their lips should consider how Botox can help them enhance their smile. Every case is different, and anytime the lips impede the beauty of a smile, Botox is often a solution worth considering.
Adjust to new dentures
Dentures may help with the appearance of a person’s smile after dentures treatment. They can also help decrease discomfort and swelling during the adjustment period once the patient begins to wear their dentures for the first time. This makes the entire dentures process more effective and the aftercare process less uncomfortable overall.
How Botox works
In most cases, we administer a local anesthetic to numb the area and keep the patient comfortable during treatment. Once the patient is numb, we will inject small amounts of Botox into the muscle tissue. The injection blocks the nerves from signaling the muscles, thus restricting muscle activity.
The dosage will depend on the patient’s condition, current health status, and desired outcome. Patients generally experience minimal discomfort during treatment. However, if any complications do arise, we can alter or reduce the amount being administered.
Each Botox treatment session lasts between 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the area being treated and how many injections are needed. Treatment may be done every few months depending on the patient’s unique case and condition. The results and benefits typically last for around three to four months, depending on the patient’s case. Some patients may only need a single treatment.
Candidates for Botox
Many treatments do not follow conventional ways. Therefore, the use of Botox® is not unheard of in the field of medicine. Many researchers have conducted studies to find out more ways to use Botox in medicine.
Good candidates for Botox treatment include those between the ages of 18 and 65, those with cosmetic concerns or dental conditions such as TMJ, those seeking non-invasive treatment for their skin, and those in good physical and psychological condition.
Find out if Botox is right for you during a consultation visit
Botox is a great way to improve your smile and eliminate issues such as a gummy smile, aging lines and wrinkles, and more. If you want to learn more about Botox treatment and how it can benefit you, contact our dental practice to arrange a Botox consultation.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Botox in Springfield Township, NJ.
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