Here at Master Orthodontics, we diagnose, prevent, and treat various dental and facial issues. This includes numerous neuromuscular and skeletal malformations of the growing or established orofacial structure. As trained specialists in these areas of growth and development, orthodontists are particularly well-suited to deliver positive outcomes when treating these conditions via proper diagnosis and the correct use of specialized orthodontic interventions, including injectables such as Botox. You may not expect to hear Botox offered by your orthodontist! In fact, many state boards, including the Washington State Dental Board, have come to recognize the therapeutic benefits of injectables such as Botox and fillers in an orthodontic environment. This includes both clinical and cosmetic applications for both treatments. Read on to learn how injectables and fillers can affect your orthodontic treatment!
What is Botox?
The first thing that comes to mind for most people when they think of Botox is anti-aging or the treatment of wrinkles. That makes sense! Botox is highly effective as a non-invasive means of anti-aging therapy. Botox is the most widely used such application, with over 6 million treatments delivered each year, according to Statista.
Botox is considered safe and effective by experts across disciplines, and, it turns out, it has a variety of clinical applications that are not limited to cosmetic or aesthetic treatment. Here at Master Orthodontics, we’re proud to offer treatment with Botox for both aesthetic and therapeutic applications.
So what is it?
Botox, or Botulinum toxin, is a highly purified chemical protein developed by Allergan and delivered as an injectable medicine whose clinical applications most commonly function by selectively weakening specific muscles or muscle groups. We’ll inject the Botox into the tissue of the desired site of action, at which point the Botox will disrupt the electrical signals from the nerves to the muscles targeted. This stops or limits the muscles from contracting. One effect of this (and the one most desirable when it comes to cosmetic application) is that any wrinkles present at the surface of the injection site will soften and relax. However, there are numerous important therapeutic functions as well.
Therapeutic Applications of Botox
As mentioned previously, the therapeutic applications of Botox are numerous. There are currently over 20 different medical conditions treated by the controlled administration of Botox. These include, but are not limited to, the following issues:
- Blepharospasm (spasm of the eyelids)
- idiopathic rotational cervical dystonia (severe neck and shoulder muscle spasming)
- Chronic migraine
- Bruxism (tooth grinding/clenching)
- Strabismus (crossed eyes)
- Post-stroke upper limb spasticity
- Hemifacial spasm
- Bells palsy
As you can probably tell, some of these are quite serious conditions, which puts Botox’s importance as a clinical option into perspective!
You may have noticed Bruxism (tooth grinding) on that list. Bruxism can lead to temporomandibular disorders, chronic headaches, face pain, and long-term damage to the teeth and jaw. Botox is administered to both sides of the masseter and temporalis muscles. This stops the action of tooth grinding that leads to these issues.
That was one example of orthodontia-specific applications of Botox. But it’s not the only one! The Natural Library of Medicine has published literature on the astounding array of orthodontic treatments via the application of Botox, including the following:
Temporomandibular disorders (TMJ)
This is one of the most common disorders of the face and jaw treated in orthodontics. Where botox comes in is that most TMJ presents with spasming of the muscle or surrounding tissue, which can result in significant pain. Botox provides up to 3 months of relief from these chronic symptoms of TMJ. That means it can be a highly effective tool in Dr. Caballero’s arsenal to help ease the symptoms of TMJ while he treats the underlying cause via the administration of more traditional forms of treatment (i.e., braces, Invisalign, or orthodontic surgery)
As discussed, Botox is a highly effective means of providing long-term relief from chronic muscle and nerve spasming pain since it can arrest or interrupt the signals causing that pain.
Cosmetic Applications of Botox
While Botox can play an incredibly important role in various therapeutic applications, it is, of course, well-known for its cosmetic uses. As a highly effective, nonsurgical procedure, Botox is used in the following aesthetic applications, among others:
- Reduction of fine lines and wrinkles of the forehead, neck and mouth area
- Lifts droopy brows
- refreshes your appearance and can enhance your smile
- Correct a gummy smile
- Lift your lips
Ask Dr. Caballero if Botox is right for you!
So What About Fillers?
Now that we’ve covered Botox let’s get down to the second part of the title –fillers. What are they?
Simply put, fillers are one of a variety of substances used to add volume to a desired area of the face or body. The most common cosmetic fillers are composed of Hyaluronic Acid. Don’t let the name scare you! It’s a natural nutrient produced by the body, mainly for lubricating joints and eyes.
How are they used in Orthodontics?
Dermal fillers are useful in a variety of orthodontic applications. They are in many ways similar to Botox in some of their functionality, but unlike Botox, these fillers don’t go into the muscles. Instead, fillers go into the fatty portions of the face and body. That’s why they are useful for cosmetic procedures such as lip enlargement. There are more complicated procedures for which fillers are also very useful. These include gingivectomy, the surgical removal of gum tissue, and various periodontal surgeries.
Whatever the application, dermal fillers are incredibly useful in orthodontics, including procedures designed to add volume to the midface (cheeks) in a process that leaves you looking and feeling younger and more rejuvenated! They’re safe and long-lasting. One administration can last anywhere from 12 months to several years!
Call Now With Any Questions!
Thanks so much for taking the time to learn more about Injectables and fillers and how they can affect your orthodontic treatment! Here at Master Orthodontics of Bremerton, Port Orchard, and Gig Harbor, we know you have questions, especially regarding something as sensitive as your appearance. That’s why we hope we’ve been able to answer some of them! Have more? Give us a call today, and we’ll work with you to see if injectables or fillers can make a difference for you, either clinically or aesthetically.
We can’t wait to see you smile!