Defining Dentistry: What is Botox?

By Dr. Salina Suy

botoxHappy November everyone!

November means the holidays are upon us — let the festivities begin!

This year, I am playing it smart by shopping early and trying not to overindulge too much.

Bring out all of our cozy and cute sweaters; the sweater season is upon us.

Thank you again for joining in on this month’s segment in our continuing series called “Defining Dentistry.” This month’s column involves Botox dentistry.

What is Botox?

Botox is a drug prepared from the bacterium clostridium botulin. Botox is used medically to treat certain muscular conditions and cosmetically to remove wrinkles by temporarily paralyzing facial muscles.

In nature, clostridium botulin is found in soil, lakes, forests, and in mammals and fish, and its spores are generally harmless.

How does Botox work?

When Botox is injected into your body, it attaches to the end of your motor nerves — the nerves that control your muscles. When Botox attaches to your nerves, it stops the transmissions that cause muscle contractions. Basically Botox will put your muscle to rest for a while.

Have no fear, because your muscle can still feel everything else, so it has its natural defenses.

The effect of Botox will last about 3-4 months per treatment. Botox is very safe but side effects should be discussed prior so patients are fully educated.

What can Botox be used for?

There are many benefits of Botox dentistry, which include esthetics in paralyzing facial muscles temporarily and the treatment of orofacial pain.

Botox uses include:

— Myogenic temporomandibular disorders

— Parafunctional clenching or grinding

— Facial esthetics (crows’ feet, forehead wrinkles, laugh/lip line, etc.)

Who can perform Botox procedures?

Many doctors and other health care providers can perform Botox procedures. Depending on your state’s rules and regulations, providers include physician assistants, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, medical doctors and of course, your dentist.

Why I love Botox

Botox is a highly researched pharmaceutical drug that can be dosed specifically per patient. The effects of Botox are temporary and very safe. The field of Botox dentistry complements cosmetic and implant dentistry — two of my favorite dental disciplines!

Everyone who knows me knows that although I love dental medicine as a whole, I love the esthetics and challenging work. Ask your dentist or come by to see me for a free Botox consult today!

I hope this column has helped you understand Botox dentistry and its many benefits. As always, thank you for joining me in this month’s segment.

Please feel free to contact me with questions and comments.

Have some questions to ask me in person? Call for a free consultation. I look forward to meeting you.

• Dr. Salina Suy is a health and wellness advocate and general dentist in Utica. Want to learn more? Visit Facebook @smilewithdrsuy or www.smilewithdrsuy.com.

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