Botox is something that many people associate with cosmetic procedures, but it is actually used in a number of medical procedures as well. Even dentistry utilizes Botox when it is needed during a medical treatment. There are a number of treatments for face and mouth conditions that can be treated with Botox.
Botox is taken from a bacterium and then purified in a lab to make it a safe and effective medication to use during certain treatments. When it is injected, it attaches itself to the nerve endings of certain muscles. Then, it blocks some of the transmission of the nerve signal, particularly the transmission that controls muscle contraction.
It is only the motor neurons that are affected by Botox, not the sensory neurons, so patients can still feel the area. This medication can last for about four to six months, and another dose can be given after that. The Botox used in dentistry is the same formulation used in cosmetic treatments.
Using Botox in Dentistry
Because of the way that Botox works, it’s extremely helpful in certain dental cases, such as when there are conditions that caused clenched muscles. When a patient has certain orofacial conditions such as parafunctional clenching, lockjaw or a number of other conditions, Botox can help. It can even help to treat the headaches that can result from those conditions. In a dental office, Botox often isn’t given as its own procedure- it’s given as a part of a treatment plan. Oral surgeons who use Botox in their practices have gotten the right kind of training in using the substance in a therapeutic way.
Because oral surgeons know so much about the muscles and bones of the face, they are the ideal professionals to administer this type of treatment when it’s needed. Botox works closely with the muscles to provide a therapeutic effect that can help with TMJ and periodontal diseases among other painful conditions. It can provide a lot of relief for a number of oral and facial problems that cause trouble and can affect your quality of life.
It is often used for people who get into the habit of clenching their teeth and even grinding them. It can also be used in cases where too many gums are visible when a patient smiles to give a different look to the smile. It can also be used when the lips are uneven or when they point downward in the corners.
Temporomandibular joint disorders, or TMD, are disorders that affect chewing. It can be caused by problems with the muscles or from a disease that is present in this joint. TMD can result in a lot of painful symptoms, including pain in the neck, around the ears, in the face and headaches as well as clicking sounds when the jaw is used. Botox can be used in a couple of different muscles to decrease the patient’s bite force. It can also be used to keep those muscles from clenching up and being used to grind the teeth together. Teeth grinding is a common cause of TMJ.
In many cases, teeth grinding is a habit that builds up over time. When Botox is used in the muscle needed for this habit, patients can no longer use the muscle in the way they did before. This can help them to stop this habit and end teeth grinding.
Botox treatments come with no downtime needed. The treatments can be administered during any oral surgery appointment when it is needed. Beginning with Botox does mean coming back about every six months to re-administer it for as long as it’s still needed. Your oral surgeon will tell you how often you will need it and when you’re due for it to be administered.
Botox and Surgery
There are a number of ways that the use of Botox can help during oral or facial surgeries. When this medication is used in the masseter muscle, it can be used as a treatment for certain facial fractures. It is sometimes used for this muscle during surgery on the zygomatic area to help it treat it and to make the surgery shorter.
It may also be used during surgery for dental implants. When Botox is used to relax the muscles used in chewing, it can help for the bone graft procedure that is often needed before getting a dental implant. It’s important for the bone graft to add to the amount of bone in the jaw, and Botox can help that to happen. A 2016 study found that it was extremely helpful when it is used during these bone grafts. It is very minimally invasive and most people are good candidates for the procedure.
If you have questions about your oral surgery or other questions to ask, call us today to get your questions answered.