Therapeutic Botox in Dentistry
There are many uses for a neuromodulator medicament such as Botox or Dysport in the context of dentistry that many people may not be aware of. The dentists at West Market Dental began offering Botox treatment for their patients in 2013 because they felt that Botox offered treatment options and achieved results that other dental treatment modalities were not able to provide. Using Botox, West Market treatment is currently providing the following treatment:
Treatment of Jaw pain or TMJ Pain Related to Clenching or Grinding
Splint or night guard therapy should always be attempted first because many patients find them effective. Botox for clenching or grinding may be a good option for patients who are unable to tolerate or unwilling to wear a splint or night guard. Botox treatment may also be a good option for patients who have recurring jaw or TMJ pain despite wearing the splint or night guard. The Botox is injected in the facial muscles that are involved in clenching or grinding to minimize or weaken the muscles, thus relieving the stress and strain that causes pain in the jaw and TMJ.
Preventing Teeth Damage Due to Daytime Clenching or Grinding
Even though splint or night guard therapy may be very effective and well tolerated for most patients at night, it is usually not practical to wear an appliance during the day. Unfortunately, patients who have a tendency to clench or grind during the night will likely clench or grind during the day as well. Also, similar to an athlete that lifts weights at the gym, the muscles that are involved in clenching and grinding become very strong and so a grinder or clencher is able to bite much harder than a non-grinder or non-clencher. Botox treatment is able to weaken the jaw muscles to help reduce the tendency to break teeth or dental restorations like fillings and caps.
Treatment of Headaches
Many people suffer from various headaches including migraines or migraine-like headaches due to their bite or because of clenching or grinding. Botox treatment may be effective in reducing or eliminating certain types of headaches.
“Gummy Smile” Reduction
Some people have either an overactive upper lip or a long maxilla, or “upper jaw”, that results in much of the gums above the top teeth showing during a smile. Botox can be used to relax the muscles of the upper lip in order to reduce or eliminate the display of the gums during a smile.
Smile Symmetry Correction
Some people naturally have an asymmetrical smile that they do not like. Depending on where the smile is asymmetrical, Dr. Lam is able to use Botox to even out the smile.
Jaw Line Reduction
As previous mentioned, clenchers and grinders have jaw muscles that are much stronger than non-clenchers and non-grinders. Not only do the jaw muscles get stronger, they also get larger, similar to the muscles of a bodybuilder. Botox treatment for these jaw muscles will relax them enough that overtime, the jaw line of a person may change in a way to give a less square and slimmer jaw line.
Wrinkle Reduction and Prevention
Neuromodulator treatment using Botox or Dysport can be used to reduce or eliminate wrinkles. The West Market Dental dentists’ philosophy with Botox treatment is to achieve a result that appears as natural as possible without affecting the way a person naturally looks or smiles.
We understands that some people may feel that Botox treatment is the right treatment for them. Similar to all the other different treatment options that we provide, we believe in practicing dentistry in a manner that creates a pressure free environment. However, if you are interested in exploring the option of Botox for any of the treatment options discussed, please don’t hesitate to call our office for a complimentary consultation. Our dental office charges $9 per unit of Botox or Dysport and the total treatment cost will vary from patient to patient based on the individual and the desired treatment.
"I have suffered from headaches due to clenching for years. Dr. Lam's botox treatment is the only thing that has helped to provide relief--reducing both the number and severity of my headaches. The treatment was quick and easy, and the results have been amazing. Thank you Dr. Lam!"
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