Both Botox and dermal fillers are treatments administered through injections, and are most commonly used to minimize the appearance of wrinkles, but they do so in very different ways.
Dermal fillers work by injecting a gel-like substance underneath the skin, filling in and plumping up areas like the lips and cheeks. Botox uses botulinum toxin that paralyzes targeted muscle groups, to help reduce the appearance of smile lines, crows feet, and other wrinkles.
In addition to its cosmetic uses, Botox can also be used to effectively treat patients with migraines and myofascial pain that results from TMJ disorders.
During your consultation, we’ll discuss your personal smile goals, and discuss how Botox, dermal fillers, or a combination of the two may be able to help you achieve your unique vision. Additionally, if you’re experiencing jaw pain, we’ll find out if Botox can help relieve your discomfort.
Once we’ve decided on what treatment is best for your unique situation, we’ll develop a personalized treatment plan that covers the initial set of injections, as well as any follow-up appointments. Botox treatment generally lasts between 3-6 months, while dermal fillers can last much longer depending on the type of filler that is used.
The procedure is similar for both Botox and dermal fillers. After cleaning and sanitizing the treatment site, a thin needle is used to inject the materials into the target areas. You and your doctor will decide if you require any numbing for the procedure.
TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) disorders involve the muscles, joints, and nerves of the jaw, and are linked to chronic facial pain. Botox can help relax these muscles, so the parts of your jaw work together in harmony and alleviate your pain.
Myofascial pain is a fancy way to describe muscle pain that is caused by repetitive use or strain of, or injury to, muscles, ligaments, or tendons. Patients with Myofascial pain often experience “trigger points,” or specific muscles that are extra tender and cause additional pain to the rest of the region when moved or touched. Botox can help ease this discomfort by targeting the trigger points and paralyzing specific muscles to alleviate tension and pain.
Bruxism is the unconscious grinding and clenching of your teeth and jaw, especially during sleep. It can lead to many uncomfortable symptoms, including headaches, pain, and even damage to the teeth. Botox can help relieve these symptoms by immobilizing the contracting muscles that cause excessive teeth grinding and clenching.
A gummy smile, also known as excessive gingival display, is when a smile shows too much of the upper gum line. Botox can help reduce the appearance of a gummy smile by relaxing the muscles of the upper lip so, when you smile, your lips will cover any excess gum tissue, restoring balance to your grin.
Dermal fillers can help restore lost volume in your cheeks and jawline, as well as plumping the lips. The increased volume can smooth out fine lines and wrinkles, and the end result is a more youthful appearance, without the need for invasive surgery.
Botox smooths out lines around the eyes and mouth by targeting specific muscles and forcing them to relax. Dermal fillers also smooth out wrinkles in the face, but can be used for more persistent lines, like those in the cheeks and lips. Fillers work by injecting a gel-like substance underneath the skin to plump the area and reduce wrinkles.
Botox results are not instant. Although you may notice some change right away, (especially if it’s your first treatment), and a little bit more after 4-6 days, most patients see and feel the complete results of Botox injections after 10-14 days. Similarly, dermal fillers generally take about 2 weeks to take their full effect.
Botox can usually last anywhere from 3-6 months before requiring another round of injections. Fillers have the potential to last much longer, anywhere from 6 months all the way to 5 years, depending on the type of filler that is used. Although they can last quite a while, the results are still not permanent, and will require follow up appointments and additional injections to maintain their effectiveness.
Botox has been shown to be effective in relieving patients of pain associated with Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) disorders. Although the direct cause of TMJ disorders can be hard to pinpoint, the symptoms often include pain or tenderness in the jaw or around the ear, headaches, pain while chewing, and even lockjaw in more extreme cases. Botox targets the TMJ muscles, causing them to stop contracting and relax, which often allows the whole TMJ system to realign and work in harmony, relieving you of your TMJ-related pain.
Dentists are experts at more than just teeth. Not only do they have extensive knowledge of the face and jaw, but Botox and dermal fillers can often complement many different dental treatments and procedures. For patients with TMJ disorders or bruxism, Botox may be used in conjunction with a night guard to minimize pain and the effects of jaw clenching and teeth grinding. Botox can even be used to help patients’ mouths adjust to a new set of dentures!