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Botox Injections
Dentist Seattle, WA


A woman receiving Botox injections from Dr. Vu at Summit Dental Care in SeattleIf you have an interest in anti-aging treatments, then you have likely heard of Botox injections. The benefits of Botox for wrinkles are well known. However, we offer Botox to improve your oral health as well.

At Summit Dental Care, we typically recommend Botox treatment to help our Seattle patients maintain a more youthful facial appearance. We may also recommend it to address the painful symptoms associated with TMJ disorders. In many cases, it is an effective, albeit temporary, alternative to more traditional TMJ treatments.

What Is Botox?


Botox is a portmanteau, short for botulinum toxin. Botulinum toxin is a medication derived from a bacterium called Clostridium Botulinum, which is traditionally known to cause botulism, a rare foodborne illness. To create Botox, the active neurotoxin is harvested, isolated, and purified in a laboratory.

This laboratory process makes Botox completely safe and effective for treatment. Side effects, while they do occur, are rare. Most patients experience little or no complications following their treatment.

Botox is most commonly associated with cosmetic procedures to eliminate fine lines and wrinkles. While popular for this type of treatment, Botox is also an effective treatment for TMJ disorder often caused by bruxism.

How Does Botox Work?


Botox works by blocking the nerve signals that are responsible for muscle contractions. The medication only affects nerves associated with motor function. When injected into the muscles, Botox can help eliminate or reduce the wrinkle lines caused by certain expressions.

Getting botox injections is a quick procedure, usually taking no more than 20 minutes to complete. There is no need to administer a local anesthetic first. Patients often report feeling a minor pinch or discomfort when the needle is inserted, but it is not unbearable. Once the injections are complete, you can go about your day as normal. We recommend avoiding strenuous activities for at least 24 hours. The medication takes effect almost instantly. Over the next week or so, the Botox will continue to relax the muscles, causing the targeted wrinkles to become less visible. While the treatment is temporary, the results could last for up to six months. If you want sustained results, we may recommend Botox injections at regular intervals.

Do You Qualify for Botox Injections?


The use of Botox in dentistry has become increasingly popular in recent years. We may recommend Botox as a part of your comprehensive treatment plan to address either cosmetics or issues with your TMJ. During your initial consultation, NamThien Vu, DDS will determine if you are a suitable candidate for Botox injections.

The ideal candidate for Botox treatment:
•  Is between the age of 18 and 65
•  Wants to remove wrinkles and other facial lines
•  Either: suffers from a TMJ disorder that causes painful or uncomfortable symptoms
•  Or wants a non-surgical alternative to cosmetic surgery
•  Understands the pros and cons of Botox treatment
•  Is in good physical and mental health
•  Voices desires and concerns before their injections

Botox and Your TMJ


Your TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, is the complicated sliding hinge largely responsible for your ability to chew, speak, smile, and yawn. In other words, this joint allows you to move your jaw forward, backward, and side-to-side. Any problem that prevents you from properly using your TMJ is known as a TMJ disorder or TMD.

Because the medication targets the nerves that control muscle contractions, Botox can be used to control unwanted jaw clenching. People who clench their jaw or grind their teeth may be doing so unconsciously. Botox can relax the muscles, prevent you from clenching your jaw, and alleviate painful symptoms as a result.

It is important to note that Botox is a temporary solution to these problems. We may recommend Botox in tandem with other treatments, such as stress counseling or the use of an oral appliance. However, Botox can help you establish better habits involuntarily, leading to longer-lasting results.

TMJ Disorder


TMJ disorder is a condition that encompasses some different issues that can affect the condition of your temporomandibular joints and your jaw. These issues, which include bruxism, misaligned teeth and jaws, and facial trauma, can cause irritation and inflammation in your TMJ, which can cause unbearable pain and make any movements of your mouth extremely difficult. In addition to joint and jaw pain, other symptoms of TMJ disorder include:
•  Facial pain
•  Swelling near the TMJ
•  Difficulty biting, chewing, and speaking
•  Temporary immobility of your jaw, called lockjaw
•  Chronic headaches and earaches

Botox for TMJ


Botox is also very effective for treating bruxism and TMJ disorder. Bruxism is a condition in which you grind and clench your teeth. Frequently caused by stress, the muscles in your jaw contract, which forces your teeth to grind together with excessive pressure. This causes extreme pressure in your jaw muscles as well as your temporomandibular joints. It can cause serious complications like extreme pain, difficulty moving your mouth, and several issues with your teeth. Botox can be used to stop grinding and clenching. Targeted injections work to weaken the muscles that contract to cause grinding and clenching. This alleviates the pressures on your jaw and your TMJ, giving you relief and restoring the normal functions to your mouth.

What Else Can Botox Treat?


Botox can be used to treat some different cosmetic issues as well as medical ones, including
•  Lines around, and on, your lips
•  Forehead lines
•  Lines and wrinkles around the eyes. These are commonly referred to as crows feet.
•  Chronic migraines
•  Hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating
•  Muscle spasms that cause muscle twitching

What Benefits Does Botox Offer?


Botox offers several benefits for those suffering from TMJ disorder.
•  Treatment is non-invasive. You do not even need a local anesthetic first.
•  There is no downtime. You can resume your normal activities after you leave the office.
•  Injections help to reduce the tension in your jaw without interfering with the normal functions of your mouth.
•  Alleviation of pain when you are eating or speaking.
•  Reduction in headaches.
•  Injections help to prevent serious issues from occurring later, such as tooth damage, loose teeth, and gum recession.

Is Botox Safe?


Botox is a very safe, and very effective, treatment. Just like any other procedure, however, there are some risks to be aware of. The most common risks associated with Botox are muscle freezing, drooping, and asymmetry of facial features. Rarer, but more serious, risks include difficulty with breathing, swallowing, and speaking. We are highly trained and very experienced with the use of Botox. We take all of the necessary precautions to ensure your safety and reduce your risk of experiencing any complications.

How Long Does Botox Last?


While effective, Botox is not permanent. Generally, you can expect results to last up to three to four months. The effects gradually wear off, and the nerve impulses are restored to your facial muscles. This allows the muscles to contract once again. To maintain your results, periodic re treatments with Botox are needed.

Schedule a Consultation for Botox in Seattle


If you are around Seattle, you, too, could benefit from our Botox injections! Call (206) 428-6970 to schedule a consultation appointment today!

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