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an article by
Valentina Tkachenko
(visitor contribution)
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Dental Botox
Dental Botox®, or Dentox®, was developed by Dr. Howard Katz for medical purposes, in particular to relax facial muscles which clenched involuntarily causing discomfort and embarrassment. Botulinum Toxin Type A, the chemical used in Botox® injections works by blocking nerve impulses which cause muscle contraction, in effect paralyzing the muscle causing the area to relax and soften. In dentistry, Botox® can be used to relieve pain associated with TMJ disorder, teeth grinding or clenching, as part of dental implant surgery, and can even be used to relieve facial tics and migraines. Some dentists also offer Botox® injections to form a more natural looking smile in patients who complain of routinely exposing too much of their gums when they are smiling as an alternative to extensive surgical options.

Therapeutic uses relax the musculature around the temporomandibular joint which controls the jaw, thereby granting relief to patients who suffer from TMJ disorder, bruxism, and teeth clenching who have been previously unsatisfied with traditional solutions such as dental splints or night guards. Dental implant surgery utilizes Botox® to reduce stress placed on new implants, particularly important in one-day implants which may have a more difficult time properly integrating with the jaw bone. Each treatment consists of a simple injection to the targeted area and does not require anesthesia. The protein is injected with a specialized thin needle in order to maximize accuracy and minimize discomfort for the patient. It is recommended that patients avoid alcohol for a week after the procedure and aspirin along with anti-inflammatory medications for two weeks in order to minimize bruising. Some mild swelling and bruising, as well as occasional presentation of flu-like symptoms are common side effects of a Botox® treatment and usually dissipate in several days.

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