Dentistry with a Side of Botox?

K. Mathews on 18 Sep 2012 at 9:00am

Cosmetic dentistry is a phrase that usually describes things like teeth whitening and veneers, but some  dentists are broadening that term to include Botox. At RealSelf, we've always been advocates for visiting doctors within their respective specialties to achieve the best results - and on a matter of safety - but it's not uncommon for patients to opt for convenience in such a matter. It seems some patients are taking the opportunity to get wrinkle-hiding injections while getting their teeth checked out at the dentist’s office.

According to Macleans.ca, while only a small percentage of patients are starting to take advantage of the Botox service in Canada, those who do cite convenience and its discreetness. The cost of Botox gets added to the dental bill and many patients don’t even tell their spouses about the bonus procedure.

One argument made in favor of the double-duty procedures is that Canadian dentists have used Botox to treat jaw pain and teeth grinding. Only recently, however, were the rules changed to permit dentists to use Botox cosmetically. The counter argument is that it's a blatant revenue booster for dentists, with risks for those in the chair. 

Warren Roberts leads several Botox workshops designed specifically for dentists to teach them how to administer the toxin, and feels dentists are a natural fit for the job, explaining, “The average dentist, in his first year, does more injections on awake patients who move and squirm than the average physician does in his whole life.” 

Maybe so, but we stand by the fact that doctors who administer Botox best are those with specialized training for the face. Data shows that people are significantly more satisfied with injections that have been performed by doctors who are board-certified for cosmetic medicine over other people who are legally allowed to do it. Take that into account before enlisting your dentist to do your Botox. Just because doctors are allowed to do certain procedures, doesn't mean they necessarily should.

 

Would you ever consider getting cosmetic injections for your dentist - why or why not? If your a cosmetic dentist, would you consider offering it? We'd love to hear patient and doctor feedback in the comments below!

 

photo credit: Macleans.ca (Simon Hayter)