Many dental practices are adding aesthetic services for their clients, including teeth whitening and straightening. According to Common Sense Dentistry, about 17 percent of dentists in North America are currently offering Botox and dermal fillers, and the numbers are growing. Because Botox and dermal fillers don't require investment in equipment, a bit of proper technique training makes them a natural extension to the skills you've already mastered.
Many states already permit dentists (with proper training) to administer Botox and dermal filler injections. Considering that they are expected to bring in $3.5 billion in 2015, dental practices may want to include them as a complementary service line.
Botox: Botox is made from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, the same toxin that causes the life-threatening food poisoning called botulism. In small doses, it is used to treat:
- Temporary smoothing of facial wrinkles and improving appearance
- Severe underarm sweating
- Blepharospasm (uncontrollable blinking)
- Strabismus (misaligned eyes)
Botox injections weaken or paralyze targeted muscles or nerves. The effects last about three to twelve months, depending on the site. Common side effects include pain, swelling or bruising at the injection site. Rare side effects include flu-like symptoms, headache and upset stomach.
The American Academy of Facial Esthetics states: "Botox has important clinical uses as an adjunct in TMJ and bruxism cases, and for patients with chronic TMJ and facial pain. Botox is also used to complement esthetic dentistry cases, as a minimally invasive alternative to surgically treating high lip line cases, denture patients who have trouble adjusting to new dentures, lip augmentation, and has uses in orthodontic cases where retraining of the facial muscles is necessary. No other healthcare provider has the capability to help patients in so many areas as do dentists. "
Dermal Fillers: Not quite a facelift, but very effective, dermal fillers can provide a dramatic improvement to facial lines, while restoring a natural fullness to the client's face. Made of hyaluronic acid, one of the body's natural substances, dermal fillers are used to:
- Plump thin lips
- Erase shallow contours
- Soften facial creases and wrinkles
- Improve the appearance of recessed scars
From the American Academy of Facial Esthetics: "The interesting thing here is that most dentists inject in the same areas where Botox and dermal fillers are injected for cosmetic results. The only difference is that you inject intraorally into these facial structures while Botox and dermal fillers injections are extraoral injections. Another reason that dentists are the best professionals to deliver these applications is also because we are the best injectors around. We inject anesthetic for a living and we know how to make these injections comfortable, quick, and relatively painless for our patients."
As a healthcare provider already trained in oral and maxillofacial areas, you take pride in your ability to give your clients a healthy and beautiful smile. The natural extension is to incorporate Botox and dermal fillers to help your patients feel even better about themselves and appreciated.