Botox, or botulinum toxin, is a natural purified protein injected into the muscle surface to relax muscles that can cause wrinkles and fine lines. There are therapeutic and cosmetic Botox procedures used for different purposes – we’ll explore them below.
What is Botox?
“Botox” is really just a brand name for botulinum toxin – much like how facial tissue is commonly called "Kleenex.” There are many brands on the market, including Dysport Aesthetic. For simplicity, we will refer to botulinum toxin as “Botox” throughout this blog post.
Why is Botox used?
Botox can be used cosmetically to minimize the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines in the skin. It can also be used therapeutically to treat TMJ disorders, jaw grinding and clenching, and even chronic headaches and migraines. When injected into the muscle surface, Botox relaxes the muscles that can cause wrinkles.
Simply put, many people use Botox to transform the way they look and/or feel.
How is Botox administered?
Botox is injected in the muscle using a micro needle. If you visit a dental clinic for a Botox treatment, this is what you can expect.
- First, your dentist will mark the targeted muscle areas on the face with a skin-safe marker. Botox injections are highly anatomy-driven so it’s important to identify the exact muscles to target for your specific issue.
- A dental assistant will photograph your face from many angles, both at rest and activated. They will take around 30 photos in total to track procedure progress and effectiveness.
- Your dentist will clean your skin before injecting the muscle(s) with Botox – the amount injected depends on your specific needs. Your dentist will discuss their recommendations with you before injecting.
- Once the injections are complete, your dentist will clean any remaining marker off of your skin. It’s normal to feel a bit of sensitivity at the injection site for a day or so after the treatment. Some patients also experience headaches. Talk to your dentist for more information about potential side effects.
- After your initial treatment, you will visit the clinic again in two weeks for a post-session assessment. At this point, any additional adjustments can be made.
- In three months, you can come back for a follow-up appointment to continue your treatment.
If you consistently keep up with Botox treatment, your muscle memory will take over and the muscles will become more relaxed over time.
Everyone’s reasons for trying Botox are different but there are two key motivations: therapeutic and cosmetic.
Therapeutic Botox procedures focus on alleviating pain and discomfort caused by muscle contractions.
Botox can be injected into the masseters and temporalis to reduce muscle pain felt in the jaw area, often caused by grinding and clenching. Botox can also be targeted at the frontalis to reduce pain from tension headaches or migraines.
Cosmetic Botox procedures focus on relaxing and softening the muscles used in facial expressions. By smoothing and softening lines, it can minimize the appearance of wrinkles in between the eyebrows, forehead, “crow's feet” and even lift the eyebrows. All of these cosmetic procedures are performed in the upper face.
Some cosmetic treatments can be considered therapeutic if they also relieve pain, as can be the case with tension headaches.
All of Kildonan Crossing Dental Centre’s providers have graduated from the Pacific Training Institute for Facial Aesthetics & Therapeutics. As graduates, they join some of the most highly trained and qualified botulinum toxin and facial rejuvenation practitioners in the world.
Contact the clinic to discuss your therapeutic and cosmetic treatment options.