What is Botox?
Botox is an injectable medication that blocks nerve impulses that activate muscles. It is injected into the areas of the face where over active muscle activity is causing skin creases and wrinkles. After a few days, relaxation and temporary weakness of the injected muscles develop, reducing fine lines and wrinkles.
Why Botox with Dr. Kenner?
Intimate knowledge of head and neck anatomy is an absolute requirement for successful Botox treatment. Dr. Kenner has received extensive training in head and neck anatomy as an anatomy tutor in dental school, advanced surgical training internship at UCLA Medical Center, and continual educational courses during full time practice.
How much will I need?
The exact number of Botox units needed for a particular treatment can vary widely between patients. This has to do with total area being treated (large forehead vs. a small forehead), presence of excessively strong muscles (hypertrophy as with TMJ), and the degree of muscle relaxation desired. Commonly treated areas and typical units are:
- Forehead – Women: 10-20 units | Men: 20-30 units
- Glabella (Frown lines) – Women: 15-20 units | Men: 20-25 units
- Crow’s feet (Wrinkles around the eyes) – Women: 9-12 units/side | Men: 9-15 units/side
- Bunny lines (Wrinkles along the sides of your nose) – Women: 2-8 units | Men: 2-8 units
- Lipstick lines (dimples in the lips) – Women: 2-6 units | Men: 2-6 units
- Masseter (Jaw muscles) – Women: 15-35 units/side| Men: 20-50 units/side
How is Botox a Treatment in Dentistry?
Botox can be used for both Cosmetic and Therapeutic treatments. Therapeutic treatments commonly related to dental problems include the treatment of TMJ pain, nocturnal bruxism, clinching, and grinding. Jaw discomfort and muscle tension are often a sign of chronic over-active muscles of the jaw. This chronic over-activity can also lead to irreversible damage to the teeth such as heavy wearing away of the enamel, flattening of the teeth, and even tooth fractures. By using Botox to reduce the activity of these muscles, symptoms can be significantly reduced or eliminated. One common side effect of Botox treatment for chronic TMJ symptoms and hyperactive jaw muscles is a slimming of the facial profile. As the over-active muscles become less active, they will reduce in size and give a slimmer looking appearance to the face.
What to Expect At Your Appointment
The initial consult appointment with your first treatment will take about 30 min. Follow up treatment appointments can be as quick as 10 min, which is perfect for people who have busy schedules. This is why it is sometimes considered a “Lunch Time treatment”. Dr. Kenner will inject small amounts of Botox in the muscles associated with the wrinkles you want to reduce. There is a small pinching sensation that goes away almost immediately, and small red dots at the injection sites which may persist for a few minutes. Otherwise, patients are able to continue their daily activity right after the appointment, with a few exceptions. Results will start to become apparent within several days, and full effect within 1 week.
How long does Botox last?
Treatment results typically last for three to four months, after which re-treatment can be done to maintain the intended results. Some muscles may require more Botox units to last this amount of time. This is typical with very strong, large muscles such as prominent brow muscles in men, and masseter muscles in patients with bruxism. After several treatments, many patients will notice their results last longer, leading to longer times between re-treatment appointments.
What Are the Side-effects?
Botox is an extremely safe for treating wrinkles, over-active muscles, and TMJ pain. Multiple studies have confirmed the safety of Botox with no reports of any major complications. Like with any injectable product however, there is the potential for allergic reaction. In addition, certain pre-existing conditions (such as Myasthenia gravis or Lambert-Eaton syndrome) may increase a patient’s risk for complication. Some of the minor unintended temporary side effects that may occur are:
- Eyelid droop
- Bruising at site of injection
- Muscle soreness at injection sites